Event: BM #44, Around the world (A - Z Series)
Choice of Country: The Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela
Capital City: Caracas
Official Language: Spanish
I am moving to Venezuela today for the "Around the World in 30 days", an alphabetical based global culinary tour. It is a South American nation situated on the northern side of the continent and it's cuisine is influenced by it's indigenous people and the European ancestry. The cuisine is varied and greatly reflects the climatic contrasts and the diversity in culture among it's people. Food staples include corn, plantain, yams, rice, beans and meat.
During my recipe hunt for this marathon, I realized that plantains, yuca and corn are an integral part of Latino cooking. And so I made it a point to cook three dishes based on these ingredients which were simple and kid-friendly - Yuca fries, patacones and these cachapas. Like baleadas, these pancakes were a super-hit with my
Cachapas are fresh corn pancakes topped with cheese and they are a popular street food in Venezuela. These traditional pancakes are made using fresh corn dough or wrapped in dry corn leaves and boiled. They are served at breakfast or as an appetizer at homes. The most common and simple variety is made by grinding fresh corn into a thick batter. These thick, lumpy pancakes are traditionally eaten with a soft cheese from Venezuela called Queso de Mano and occasionally with fried pork. Mozzarella or feta cheese can be substituted in absence of Queso de Mano. Cachapas may also include different kinds of cheese, cream or jam.
Ingredients: (makes 4)
2 cups corn kernels (I used frozen)
Salt to taste
3 tbsp masa harina (I substituted it with corn flour.)
Oil to make cachapas
1 cup Venezuelan cheese / shredded mozzarella cheese
* Grind corn kernels and salt to a thick, coarse paste in a food processor. Add masa harina / corn flour and pulse to incorporate.
* Heat a nonstick pan and pour a ladleful of batter. Don't spread but just using the back of the ladle, shape into a circle.
* Add 1/2 tsp of oil around the edges, cover and cook until golden brown spots appear on the bottom side.
* Uncover the pan and carefully flip the cachapas without breaking.
* Cover and cook again until it turns golden brown on the other side too.
* Top with about 1/4 cup of cheese and cover until the cheese has melted.