Trolling supermarkets in Far Rockaway when I worked there always afforded me low prices and amazing Central and South American food finds. One of them were arepas (unleavened bread made of corn and usually farmers cheese of Columbian/Venezuelan extraction that can be baked, fried, or grilled) that I always bought “de choclo”…or stuffed with cheese. I think of them as a grilled cheese corncake because the cheese runs completely through them. They were

sweet and savory at the same time and I would often eat them combined with grilled shrimp or with a berry compote. I ended up with a slightly more sweet corn cake infused with whole and pureed fresh corn, bright orange flavor, and fluffy farmers cheese. They would be equally delicious for breakfast or “brinner”…breakfast for dinner, hot or cold.

Sweet Corn Arepa Pancakes

SERVES 8-10 PANCAKES
  • 3/4 cups freshly squeezed orange juice
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 2 ears of corn, cut from cob (puree one ear and reserve the other ear or corn)
  • 1/3 cup farmers cheese
  • 1 egg
  • 1 cup cornmeal
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  1. Bring orange juice to a boil and add the butter. Take off the heat and let sit until butter melts. Let cool.
  2. In a large mixing bowl, combine the cornmeal, sugar, and salt. Stir in the orange juice and butter mixture, pureed and whole corn kernels, egg, and farmers cheese, and mix to combine. Let sit for a few minutes to let flavors marry.
  3. Melt a tablespoon of butter in a large skillet or griddle over medium heat and pour 1/4 c. of batter into the skillet. Fit as many pancaked as you can without overcrowding. Cook for about 5-7 minutes and flip when browned on the bottom…some dark brown spots are good. Flip them and cook the other side for about another 5 minutes.
  4. Serve with berries/syrup, with ice cream, with more crumbled farmers cheese on top, or my favorite…cold out the the refrigerator.
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