Try this popular Venezuelan street food from the comfort of your own kitchen.
- 3 cups uncooked corn kernels, scraped from their cobs or frozen and defrosted
- 1 cup unbleached all-purpose flour
- 1 large egg
- 1 tablespoon kosher salt
- 2 tablespoons sugar
- 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
- 6 ounces crème fraîche or other cheese, such as crumbled queso fresco or grated mozzarella
- Cooked corn kernels, for garnish (optional)
- 1 serrano chile, sliced, for garnish (optional)
- Place uncooked corn kernels in a food processor, and pulse kernels to form a somewhat coarse puree, about 1 minute. Strain out juice, and then place puree in a medium mixing bowl.
- Add flour, egg, salt, and sugar to corn puree, and whisk until well-combined to make batter.
- Melt 1 teaspoon butter in a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Working in batches, spoon a scant cup of batter into pan to form a pancake. Cook until bottom is golden, 4 to 5 minutes. Flip and cook other side, 4 to 5 minutes more. Set aside finished cachapa, and repeat with rest of batter, adding teaspoons of butter to pan as needed.
- Serve stacked or folded with remaining butter and crème fraîche. Add cooked corn and sliced serrano.
Chef Héctor • Venezuela
Cachapas (“ca-cha-pahs”) are a popular street food in Venezuela. Although the authentic preparation is slightly different, they’re easily adapted. The corn kernels are ground but left slightly coarse, so the finished pancakes taste, well, corny. Any leftover kernels can be cooked and added as garnish. The sweet corn cakes are topped with butter and any kind of cheese that melts, from queso fresco to mozzarella. If you simply want to try something more breakfast-like, they can be topped with butter alone. Héctor serves these for breakfast with nata (“nah-tah,” crème fraîche) and feta cheese on the side, or for lunch with a salad.
Yield: 4 cachapas.
Excerpted from The Kitchen Without Borders: Recipes and Stories from Refugee and Immigrant Chefs by The Eat Offbeat Chefs. Workman Publishing © 2021.