Thursday, January 08, 2009

Humitas


So what is in here???

One of my favorite things about different cultures is the food! I am an eater!!!! Papa Peep eats to live and I live to eat!!!! Being snowed in for Christmas was rough on my waistline especially since my mom was here.


We made all sorts of treats and I will share the one we made in the above photo.

Humitas as described in Wikipedia is a dish from pre-Hispanic times. They are common in many countries in South America with each creating its unique version. The ones that I will show are the Ecuadorian version, sweet of course!

First find corn with the husks still on. Be sure the individual corn kernels are not juicy. Believe it or not, the harder the kernal the better.

Cut the ends off each corn.



Carefully remove the husks as you will need these later. Try to get them as whole as possible.








The ugly and harder outer ones will serves as string to tie the humitas. I will show you how to do this later.




The softer inner ones will serve to house the masa.



Once you have undressed the corn then, using a sharp knife cut the kernels from the cob carefully. I did not get a picture of this as my cooks moved too fast for me but I snagged this off the net.
 

Eventually you will have a bowl full of kernels.



Using a food processor turn the kernels into masa.



I know my food processor is puny! Stop laughing now!



If the masa is too runny, you will need to add some corn flour (also known as harina) to thicken it.




Fortunately we got good corn and we did not need to add this step.

Now add some salt and sugar to taste.
I know you need measurements, but I just don't cook with measurements and my mom much less so. We cook by taste. Since we are not adding eggs, feel free to taste the masa. It won't hurt you!





Mix well!!!!


Meanwhile someone should be washing the husks!!





Now we are ready to begin!

Chose a husk and right in the center add a large spoonful of masa.


This is where the variations come in. Us Ecuadorians like to add .....you guessed it......CHEESE!!!!
The closest kind of cheese to what we would use natively is Queso Freso (love Wiki!!!!). Again no picture I took, but here are a few varieties I found online.






The Ranchero is what I can find locally, but there are many brands.



Now the packaging!!!


You can fold over the middle. You may need another husk to cover the top. It really depends on how big each husk was and how carefully you removed them. Make sure there are no holes or your masa will fall out before it cooks.

Remember those tough husks we were keeping separate??? Get them out and pull strips from the leaves. You can make them about 1/2 inch strips.



Get the ends together and tie them. Depending on how you tie the humitas you may need 3 strips tied together or just 2.


Tie each end.........





OR

Fold the ends over and tie each bundle.......



Or recently my mother has seen them served this way......


Same as before with the masa in the husks, but instead of typing them with strips of corn husks....








Aluminum to the rescue. I prefer them being tied but if you plan on freezing them, I find the foil protects them quite well. OH YES!!!! Make a ton and FREEZE them. They make a yummy breakfast!!!!

Steam for about 45 minutes!!!!







We made about 30 humitas out of 10 ears of corn.......



Well, not counting the ones I ate before we counted them!








Enjoy!!!!
Buen Provecho!!!




5 comments:

  1. They look so beautiful and yummy too. Thank you for sharing such fun food made out of such every day ingredients ;-)

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  2. Wow. These look sooooo good. And I love all the hands in the pictures.

    You do have a special way of making me regret the corn allergies in our house!

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  3. Thanks so much for sharing! Looks yummy.

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  4. Looks yummy...and the way you present just great and awesome.Thanks for sharing.
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