Explore corn pancakes from Venezuela called cachapas. We also make curtido, a flavorful cabbage slaw to top off the corn pancakes. Corn is the star ingredient and because it’s peak corn season, they will be even more delicious. To make the pancakes, add corn, salt, pepper, and masa (similar to corn flour) to the food processor. When they are done, top with black beans, cabbage slaw, and a sprinkling of cheese. This is a balanced meal, with protein, carbs, healthy fats, and fresh vegetables. Enjoy for lunch, or even a savory breakfast!
Cachapas (Fresh Corncakes with Cheese)
Makes 12 small cachapas
6 cups corn kernels (from 6 fresh ears or frozen, thawed)
½ cup masa harina
Salt & Pepper to taste
Vegetable oil, for frying
For the Filling
1 can of pinto or black beans, drained (reserve the bean liquid)
½ small white onion, minced
1 tsp chile powder
1 clove of garlic, minced
3 Tablespoons of vegetable oil
2 cups shredded Queso Oaxaca, Queso mano, or mozzarella
Curtido (recipe below)
- First, prepare the beans: In a large skillet, heat oil until shimmering, over medium-high heat. Add minced onion and garlic and cook, stirring occasionally, until translucent and lightly golden, about 7 minutes. Stir in beans and oregano and cook for 2 minutes. Add ½ cup of reserved bean-cooking liquid. Using a potato masher, or the back of a wooden spoon, smash the beans to form a chunky purée; alternatively, use a stick blender to make a smoother purée. Reduce heat to medium and cook, stirring, until desired consistency is reached.
- In a food processor or blender, grind the corn kernels to a smooth pulp, along with the salt and pepper. Add in the masa harina.
- Once the mixture is smooth, preheat a griddle or large frying pan over medium heat. Add some oil, then spoon the batter onto the pan. With the back of your spoon, press the batter into a rough circle.
- Cook the cachapas for 3-5 minutes. Flip and cook for 3-5 more minutes, pressing the mixture flat if desired.
- Sprinkle with the cheese and let melt. Top with a spoonful of refried beans.
- If necessary, keep warm in the oven until all cachapas are cooked. Fold in half and enjoy!
Quick Curtido (Mexican Cabbage Slaw)
Makes about 5 cups
½ small (2-pound) green cabbage, cored and very thinly sliced (about 4 cups)
½ medium white onion, peeled and very thinly sliced (about ½ cup)
2 carrots, peeled and shredded (about ½ cup)
1 small jalapeño, ribs and seeds removed, minced (optional)
3 Tablespoons apple cider vinegar
2 teaspoons sugar
1 teaspoon kosher salt
- In a large bowl, toss together cabbage, onion, carrot, and jalapeño.
- In a small saucepan, combine vinegar, salt, and sugar and cook over medium heat, stirring, until salt and sugar are just dissolved.
- Pour brine over vegetables and toss to combine. Cover and refrigerate for one hour before serving.