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Posts from the ‘Corn’ Category

Humitas Ecuatorianas


I’m a little late in posting this recipe for humitas.  Though I read about them weeks ago and made my first batch a couple of days ago, a lot of have-tos (and a few want-tos) have gotten in the the way.  Initially, I didn’t recognize them as the tamales I’d grown up with.  They were of course and they weren’t.  Depending on whether you’re in Argentina, Bolivia, Brazil, Chile, Colombia, Mexico, Peru, Venezuela or the Caribbean, they’re known as humitas, humintas, tamales, tamalli, tamalitos verdes, chapanas, bollos, choclotanda, chumales, cachapas, chapanas, chiguiles, envueltos de mazorca, ayacas, hallacas, juanes, pamonhas.  The filling can be sweet or savory, made with fresh or dried corn, plantains or potatoes, wrapped corn husks, banana leaves or parchment paper,  steamed or baked, served as a snack, side dish, casserole or heavy stew. Read more

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A Grilling Alternative

I was looking for grilling recipes when I heard about a great non-grilling suggestion from my Tio Raul. After giving me instructions on how to make grilled elotes slathered in crema and covered with cheese, he mentioned this version he’d had at the end of a long Mexican wedding where the reception ended with a second meal. Read more

Arepitas Dulces

It’s always the little things that trip me up.  I was thinking of making arepas last weekend when I came across a recipe for Venezuelan arepitas dulces.  Also known as arepuelas or anisitas in Colombia, they’re smaller arepas sweetened with melado de papelón and fried for breakfast or dessert.  Infused with whole anise seeds, they seemed as soothing and comforting as the candies in your grandmother’s purse. Read more

Lucky Coins

I decided to skip last month’s ñoquis del 29 post on a leap year technicality.  Picking up in March, I decided to make cornmeal ñoquis baked in béchamel.  I had never associated ñoquis with Cuban cuisine but, after finding several references in a few older Cuban cookbooks, I wanted to try it.  The cooked cornmeal is shaped into small discs then baked with white sauce or cheese and put under a broiler.  Though not like any ñoquis I’d had before, I thought their similarity to gold coins fitted with the Argentinian tradition of putting a coin or peso under your plate while you ate them to attract greater prosperity.  I was a little up in the air about doing another one and questioned whether I really wanted to make ñoquis again so soon. As with most resolutions, the first time is all zeal, the second time may be a fluke, and the third time is when you decide whether or not to stick to it.  After some starts and stops, I realized that I looked forward to answering the same question in a different way every month.  Hopefully, with some consistency, I can be consistently lucky. Read more

The Running People

“They seemed to move with the ground,” said one awestruck spectator.  “Kind of like a cloud, or a fog moving across the mountains.”

This time, the Tarahumara weren’t two lonely tribesmen adrift in a sea of Olympians…they were locked in formation they’d practiced since childhood, with wily old vets up front and eager young buck pushing from behind.  They were sure-footed and sure of themselves.  They were the Running People.

-Christopher McDougall, Born to Run

If anyone has read Christopher McDougall’s Born to Run, they know what it’s like to have images of Mexico’s Tarahumara racing through their minds.  A story about “a hidden tribe, superathletes, and the greatest race the world has never seen,” it’s really about all of us and none of us.  A story of our evolution and ability as runners that may be largely lost, except to a few who never forgot how. Read more

Corn at Last

I’ve wanted to try this corn tart recipe from Lourdes Castro’s Simply Mexican for weeks.  Unfortunately, I’d only remember this when I’d just left the market cornless, mid-pool at the gym, or ten minutes before I fell asleep.  With summer winding down, I realized it was now or never if I wanted to take advantage of the piles fresh summer corn that were getting smaller each week.  Similar to a soufflé but less temperamental, I had it with the achiote chicken roasted in banana leaves.  Having read it cover to cover, I should have known the tart would be easy to make.  A straightforward collection of recipes, it’s a great introduction to cooking Mexican at home.  Read more

Kako’s Arepas

Now that I thought I had the right arepa pan, I was dying to test it out.  An increasingly popular street food trend, I wanted to master making them at home so I could have them with leftover guisados and the Colombian cheese I could only buy as a wheel.  Generally, I prefer the peaceful precision of baking, so I decided to follow the directions on the package and stuff them with ropa vieja I had left from earlier this week.  The results were disappointing, a little too messy, and definitely too raw.


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