...celebrating flavorful food
1. Also called Indian corn; especially technical and British, maize. a tall cereal plant, Zea mays, cultivated in many varieties, having a jointed, solid stem and bearing the grain, seeds, or kernels on large ears.
by Christian Andrews's hubby
One of the Bolivian foods we love to make is humintas, a cooked in the husk corn cake. These delicious handheld cakes bring back great memories growing up in the Andean foothills.
with Joyce Andrews and her well used Andean Cookbook.
8 c. uncooked corn - in the US, fresh “in the wet” or “in the green” field corn before it dents works best as it is not too watery or too sweet
2 1/2 t. salt
1/4 t. cinnamon
2 t. anise seed - if you grind it up a little, the flavor penetrates better
sugar - to taste
4 heaping T of shortening (Bolivians use lard; we used butter because we had it on hand.)
queso - white Mexican or raw cheese, sliced
Humintas are best baked in the corn husk or chalas. Sweet corn chalas are usually small so you may need to use two. Field corn chalas can be closer to the right size.
Cut around the bottom of the ear to separate the husk from the cob.
Carefully peal the husks away saving the larger pieces. Set aside as many large chalas as possible. If you don't get enough, you can bake the humintas in a pan or Apolo style in a sardine can.
Husk and clean all the ears.
Grate or slice it the corn off the cobs.
Run it through a blender or food processor. If you want to be authentic, use your grinding stones.
You want an end consistency of thick pankcake batter or thin cake mix. We blended sweet corn with the field corn to get the right consistency. If the batter is too wet (from using only sweet corn), add some corn meal. If the batter is too dry, you can add milk.
Add the salt, cinnamon, anise, and eggs. Taste and see if it needs a couple of T of sugar - corn varies.
We used anise oil which is much stonger than anise seed by about 8 times.
Heat the shortening until it is very hot.
Add it to above mixture. It should sizzled.
Pre-heat oven to 350F.
To make humintas in chalas, scoop down a generous T of masa,
add sliced cheese, and cover lightly with masa.
Fold the chalas to make a triangle. Use a dab of masa as glue.
Repeat until either the masa or chalas are used up.
If you have extra masa, you can bake it in pans. We just happened to have these oval cake pans that resemble sardine cans.
Bake for about an hour or until firm but not hard. It is easy to overcook. When you do the humintas get dry.
Humintas are best warm out of the oven, but they freeze well and can be warmed in a microwave.
Just peal back the chalas and enjoy!!