Last year Weston, my eight-year-old, did a school research project on Venezuela. While he was working on the obligatory food section of his report, he and I were both intrigued by the description of Venezuelan arepas. Griddled corn flour bread, often stuffed with cheese or meat...sounded really tasty.
I'll be the first to admit that I've never had an authentic Venezuelan arepa. To appease Weston, I called these fresh corn pancakes arepas when I made them, but if I'm to believe the photos I found online, they're not even close. True Venezuelan arepas are made with a special, finely milled corn flour, most commonly Harina PAN. They're more like bread, whereas these are more like fritters. Let's say mine are "inspired by" the idea of arepas. Whatever you call them, you'll like them.
I happened to have leftover corn pulp on hand - the stuff that was left in the sieve after making the creamy corn soup with truffles for Trufflepalooza 2010. I don't expect you to go to such great lengths. Fresh corn cut off the cob and whizzed in the blender or food processor will do nicely, and in fact it will probably taste better - I'd already sucked much of the flavor out of my corn before making these pancakes. In a pinch, I bet you could use defrosted frozen corn instead of fresh. Try it and let me know.
Fresh corn pancakes
- 3-4 ears of fresh, sweet corn
- 1 egg
- 1/4 cup all-purpose flour
- 1/4 cup cornmeal
- 1/2 cup shredded mozzarella cheese
- 1/2 tsp salt
- canola or grapeseed oil, for frying
In a large skillet over medium-high heat, fry dollops of the mixture in the oil until golden brown and crispy on both sides. Blot briefly on a plate lined with paper towels, then serve immediately.