Savory Fresh Corn Pancakes

  • Yield 8 servings
  • Prep
  • Cook 45 mins

These sweet and savory fresh corn pancakes, called "cachapas" in Venezuela, can be served with a soft cheese and eaten as a hearty breakfast, light lunch, or snack.

corn_pancakes-edit

Ingredients

3 generous cups fresh or frozen corn kernels (thawed and drained, if frozen)
1/2 cup soy or other nondairy milk
1/3 cup Venezuelan- or Colombian-style masarepa (don't use Mexican masa harina)
3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
2 tablespoons ground flaxseed, preferably golden
3 tablespoons sugar
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
Peanut or corn oil, or high-smoking-point nonstick cooking spray, for frying
Shredded, meltable mozzarella-style vegan cheese (optional)

Instructions

  1. In a blender jar, combine the corn, soy milk, masarepa, flour, flaxseed, sugar, baking powder, and salt. Pulse everything until a thick chunky batter is formed with a consistency similar to that of creamed corn. If necessary, stir the ingredients with a rubber spatula (not while the blender is running, of course) to make sure everything is blended together. Let the batter sit for 10 minutes and stir a few times before using.
  2. While the batter is resting, heat a large, well-seasoned cast-iron pan or griddle over medium heat. It’s ready to use when a few drops of water flicked on its surface sizzle immediately. Generously oil the surface of pan with the oil or cooking spray.
  3. Scoop 1/3 cup of batter and spread on the cooking surface, using a circular motion to evenly distribute the batter. Keep your cachapa less than 3/8 inch thick. Cook for 3 to 4 minutes, until most of the pancake’s surface is no longer shiny wet and the edges appear solid. Slide a wide, thin spatula underneath the pancake and carefully flip it over. The cooked side of the cachapa should be golden brown. Cook on the other side for another 2 to 3 minutes and lift it off the pan with a spatula.
  4. To serve with vegan cheese, sprinkle the shredded cheese over the cooked top of the cachapa after you’ve flipped it the first time. After the bottom has cooked for 2 minutes, fold the pancake over the cheese like an omelet. Cook for another minute or so to allow cheese to melt, flip one more time, and serve.
  5. Serve immediately or stack on a serving plate.

Tips for the Cachapa Chef

  • If your cachapas fall apart when flipping, try making them slightly smaller. Use ¼ cup of batter.
  • An evenly heated cooking surface is key for well-browned cachapas. If your kitchen range isn’t the most even surface in the world, occasionally move your pan around to help distribute the heat. It’s easy to tell things are a little lopsided if your pancakes are scorched on one side and pale on the other.
  • Dark brown scorch marks are completely acceptable, even desired on a cachapa’s surface.
  • Cast iron is superior for cachapa cooking, as it conducts high heat ideally. Nonstick surfaces may lead to pale, anemic-looking pancakes.

–From Viva Vegan! by Terry Hope Romero. Reprinted courtesy of Da Capo Lifelong Books.

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