Uh oh, this is the third hero shot in a row to include the Authenticity Towel. I’d better watch myself, or bits of pre-Colombian pottery and stone tools are going to start creeping into my pictures. A few months from now you won’t be able to tell me from Marths Stewart Living. Lord help me — and save me from cheesy visual props!
But seriously, I couldn’t resist attempting reader Marciella’s recipe for these simple corn cakes over the weekend. It seemed just too easy. And you know, other than the fact that I had to make one small modification, it was. I started with a couple of cans of hominy (nixtamalized corn) that I found at the supermarket for 88¢ each.
I drained the hominy, and when I went to rub off the kernel skins (hulls), I found that there weren’t any. That or they were so soft I couldn’t distinguish them from the soft starch. So I simply proceeded to purée the hominy in the food processor.
The result was a slurry with the consistency of mashed potatoes. Interesting, but too soft to make cakes with.
So I added about a cup of masa harina (instant masa) and a quarter teaspoon of salt and kneaded it all into a dough.
The arepas needed about 2-3 minutes per side over medium heat.
They were skinny, but they still split very nicely with serrated knife. I made little sandwiches out of them (with pieces of flank steak and strips of sautéed sweet and poblano peppers). I’m pretty sure that’s how they’re eaten in Colombia and/or Venezuela. At any rate, they were fantastic. Looks like I’ll be keeping cans of hominy in the Pastry family pantry from now on! Thanks Marciella!