Cachapas (Venezuelan Corn Pancakes)

These sweet corn pancakes are a breakfast staple in Venezuela. You can have them with just butter, but they're amazing sandwiched with some soft, melty cheese between two of them. Think: elote meets breakfast. Cachapas are very delicate, so be sure to flatten the center of the pancake when you scoop the batter into the pan. You’ll be on your way to a slightly charred, salty and sweet breakfast treat. By Larisa Alvarez for Food Network Kitchen.
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  • Level: Easy
  • Total: 45 min
  • Active: 45 min
  • Yield: 4 servings
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Ingredients

1/2 cup crema or sour cream, plus more for serving

Two 15.25-ounce cans whole kernel corn, drained (about 3 cups)

2 large eggs

3 tablespoons sugar

1 1/2 teaspoons kosher salt

1/3 cup arepa flour (pre-cooked white cornmeal; see Cook's Note), such as P.A.N.

Nonstick cooking spray

16 ounces queso duro (hard cheese), queso de mano (fresh, soft white cheese), or mozzarella (see Cook's Note), thinly sliced or shredded

2 tablespoons unsalted butter

Directions

  1. Preheat the oven to 200 degrees F.
  2. Add the crema, half of the corn, eggs, sugar and salt to a blender and blend until the mixture is evenly combined but still chunky. Add the arepa flour and the remaining corn, then blend until a thick, even batter forms with pieces of corn still visible. Let the batter sit a couple of minutes.
  3. Meanwhile, heat a large nonstick skillet or a griddle over medium heat until warm and spray generously with cooking spray. Add two 1/4-cup scoops of the batter, spacing them apart, to form 2 pancakes. Smooth each out with the back of your measuring cup to form a 5-inch-wide pancake, making sure the center is thin and flat -- the center takes longer to cook and if mounded will make the pancake much harder to flip. Cook until the bottoms are dark brown, almost black, about 5 minutes. While the pancakes cook, shred or slice your cheese, if necessary.
  4. Flip the pancakes and top one of them with a quarter of the cheese. Cook until the cheese melts, about 3 minutes, then top the cheese with the second pancake. Transfer to a baking sheet and keep warm in the oven.
  5. Make more cachapas with the remaining batter and cheese, wiping out the previous oil and spraying the skillet or griddle generously with cooking spray for each batch. Once all of the cachapas are filled with cheese, top each with a half tablespoon of butter and serve with crema on the side, for dipping. 

Cook’s Note

Look for arepa flour, queso duro and queso de mano at a market that carries Latin American products.

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