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Irresistible Venezuelan cachapas with queso de mano.
What can be better than a good cachapa, made with fresh, tender, corn kernels? Well, those same cachapas stuffed with queso de mano!
Cachapas from Venezuela
Queso de mano? I’ll explain you, but first things first. What is a cachapa? Cachapas are a sort of corncake. They are to Venezuelans what pancakes are to Americans. A much more rustic pancake, I would say, but full of flavor and rich in texture.
When I was a little girl, eating them was a joy reserved for our getaways to El Junquito. At least three times a year, we went with my dad to that little mountain town, on the outskirts of Caracas, the city where I was born and raised. As if it were a tacit ritual, we always ate cachapas with queso de mano.
Later, what was really priceless was eating cachapas on my cowboy friends’ haciendas. It doesn’t matter if those farms were in Aragua, Guárico or Zulia states. When visiting, during the weekends they honored us, the Caraqueños (people from Caracas, Venezuela’s capital city), with a breakfast that invariably consisted of cachapas grilled in huge budares that were heated with firewood. No need to say that aroma was the closest to heaven.
A cousin of the arepa
Cachapas are made with sweet corn and they are so popular that even Harina P.A.N., manufacturer of the arepa flour, makes a cachapa flour. This flour is made in the US in the same P.A.N. facility in Texas and distributed by Goya Foods. You can buy the Venezuelan cachapa flour by clicking here (affiliate link).
I must confess that cachapa flour has saved my life more than once and fortunately, along with my beloved arepa flour, is available everywhere at least in my area. You can buy Venezuelan cachapas mix (affiliate link) online. That said, I must also add there is nothing like freshly made cachapas with queso de mano.
Queso de mano is one of the varieties of Venezuelan fresh cheese. Luckily, it’s also easy to find in the Miami area where I live. Super gooey, its taste and consistency are similar to that of mozzarella. But it’s a bit more salty and tart. It also comes in 4-inch disks, which makes it perfect for eating with cachapas.
How to make Venezuelan cachapas
To make this recipe you’ll need some tools and ingredients you can easily find online through my Amazon Affiliate Program, including:
If you cannot find queso de mano in your area, please substitute with the best fresh mozzarella you can buy. Venezuelan cachapas may also be filled with ham and cheese, nata fresca (you can substitute it with crema salvadoreña) or cheese and shredded beef (carne mechada).
I hope you like this cachapas from Venezuela as much as we do!
Cachapas with queso de mano
- 4 cups of fresh corn kernels (about 6 ears of corn)
- 1/2 cup of heavy cream (I used Cacique Crema Mexicana)
- 1/4 cup of skim milk
- 1 tablespoon of sugar
- 1/2 teaspoon of salt
- 1/2 cup of arepa flour (I used Harina P.A.N.)
- 2 8-ounce disk of queso de mano
- Save 4 tablespoons of corn kernels.
- Put the rest of the ingredients, except for butter and cheese, in a blender and blend until a thick paste forms.
- Add the rest of the corn kernels and stir. Press to liquefy for a few seconds so that you can feel the kernels when eating the cachapa.
- Let stand for about 5 minutes for the mixture to thicken.
- Preheat a frying pan, budare or comal over medium heat.
- When the pan is hot, add some butter to grease it.
- Make each cachapa using 1/3 cup of the mixture at a time, and making a circle of about 4 inches.
- Cook for 4-5 minutes and flip with a spatula. Cook for 3 more minutes until the cachapas are golden brown.
- Serve hot with butter and cheese: place a cachapa, cover it the cheese, and then top with another cachapa.