In Venezuela, cachapas are mostly eaten during the weekends, and you will go to the best place that makes them no matter how far it is from your house, just to satisfy that craving. I also have strong memories of eating cachapas during Easter, when entire families pack up their cars and head for the beach — which for us was 6 hours away, including a ferry ride, to Margarita Island. The one thing that kept me and my cousins happy was that we got to stop along the road to eat cachapas, plus the thought of eating this treat at the local wooden shack every day while on the island. We were not allowed to eat meat during Easter, but could have plenty of these soulful sweet and savoury corn pancakes for breakfast, lunch and dinner.
Here's an easy step by step video for you to follow.
3 cups sweetcorn kernels (cut raw off fresh cobs, or thawed frozen, or canned and drained)
1 tbsp sugar
1 ½ tsp salt
2⁄3 cup milk
5 tbsp pre-cooked white cornmeal (I use Harina P.A.N. brand)
oil for frying
4 balls fresh buffalo
Prepare: 20 minutes; cook: 20 minutes
In a blender, place corn kernels, sugar, salt, milk, egg and cornmeal. Pulse until just combined, but don’t purée.
Lightly oil a griddle or heavy-bottomed frying pan and place over a medium-high heat. Use a ladle to add cachapas mixture to the pan, shaping them like a pancake about 10 cm in diameter. When bubbles start to form on top, lower the heat and continue to cook for about 2 minutes. Flip over and cook for another 2–3 minutes or until cooked through. Place slices of mozzarella on one half of each cachapa and fold the other half over. Serve immediately.
Chef’s note: You can stuff a cachapa with whatever you like, but they are traditionally served with some crema agria or butter inside and on top, and Venezuelan cheese or a ham and cheese combo inside. Some grilled haloumi with sliced ham would also do the trick.
Reproduced with permission from La Latina, by Grace Ramirez. Published Random House (NZ). RRP $60.00. Text copyright ©Grace Ramirez, 2015. Photographs copyright ©Garth Badger, 2015.