Maize Cakes

"I made up this appetizer the other day, modifying Costa Rican 'choriadas', a common Costa Rican treat in the green maize season there, thought I'd share. Our maize is sweeter than the maize here in Malawi. Ideally, you'd actually use the maize that we, sadly, use for cattle feed in Canada. If the maize is really juicy, then you can do this omitting both the milk and the additional wheat flour - especially if you want to make the thin ones that I like for breakfast..." (Read the blog entry for this recipe here.)


Created by my talented and creative friend Lauren Classen while in Malawi, Africa

Ingredients / Directions: 

4-6 cobs of raw maize, cut off the cob (should be about 2 cups when ground)
1/4 - 1/2 cups milk
4 tbs brown sugar

3/4 whole wheat flour or 1 cup white flour
1 tsp baking powder
2 tsp ground sea salt

Pound, grind or even blend maize to a rough dough (here they use a huge mortar and pestle to pound it).  Pour into large bowl and add 1/4 cup milk and sugar.   Stir together dry ingredients.  Add dry to wet and mix to blend.  Should be the consistency of pancake batter.  If it is too thick, add the rest of the milk and stir. 

Heat a pan to medium/high heat with a little vegetable oil.  Scoop 1/2 a cup into a pan and spread to about 1 inch thickness with the back of a wooden spoon (dipped in water to prevent it from sticking).  *A nsima spoon works really well . . . ! Brown on both sides. 

I serve these piled with some roasted tomatoes (cut in half, placed cut-side up on a pan and sprinkled with sea salt and 1 tbs of sugar and some pieces of fresh basil and roasted cut side up at 375 for 1.5 hours and stirred), roasted chick peas (boiled with bay leaves and garlic cloves and then roasted in a pan with olive oil, cumin seeds and sea salt - at 375 for one hour or until crunchy), and steamed green beans sauteed with garlic,  I drizzled the plate with olive oil infused with fresh, wild oregano and some grated orange rind.  I think caramelized onions,  and a seared tomato and black Kale seared with garlic and a tsp of balsamic and/or some soft goat's cheese would also be nice stacked on these cakes.  There are lots of goats here - I should learn to make goat's cheese!

I also love the corn cakes for breakfast with a scoop of sour cream or plain yogurt (here I have to make my own!) and a teaspoon of honey spread on top.  When I have them this way, I put  3/4 cup batter into middle of pan.  Dipping a wooden spoon into water (to prevent the dough from sticking to it), spread batter over the pan to create a thin layer.  Fry till browned on bottom and flip to do the same to the other side. Serve like a crepe.