I love that aisle of rice and pulses in the Nour Cash and Carry. When I was growing up, beans came in tins and you had a choice between red kidney beans or ones in tomato sauce. In the Nour, you have a choice of the whole world it feels like. On one of my trips in there I bought some hominy corn which caught my eye because it looks more like beans than corn. I then took the bag home and had no idea what to do with it.
Then I happened to be in the new Ecuadorian cafe near my flat and saw llapingachos de mote or hominy corn patties on the menu and finally had my inspiration. These little gluten free patties use hominy and cornmeal to make a dough and are then stuffed with cheese or shredded meat and fried on each side as a snack or lunch and traditionally served with a peanut sauce. They’re an excellent way to use up leftovers and make a fantastic packed lunch.
Ecuadorian hominy corn patties with peanut sauce (serves 4-6)
For the patties:
- 50g dried hominy corn, soaked and cooked (measure the dry weight)
- 1 tablespoon vegetable oil
- 1 small onion, diced
- 2 cloves garlic, diced
- 2 teaspoons achiote powder
- 50g cornmeal
- salt and pepper
- 2 eggs
- 1 ball mozzarella, grated
- 4 tablespoons vegetable oil
For the sauce:
- 100g chunky peanut butter
- 250ml milk
- 1 small onion, diced
- 2 teaspoons smoked paprika
- 1 teaspoon achiote powder
- 1 teaspoon ground cumin
- 1 tablespoon soy sauce (use tamari if gluten free)
- 1 lime, juiced
- salt and pepper to taste
- 1/2 bunch of fresh coriander, chopped
Start by soaking your hominy corn overnight in cold water, then drain and rinse well. Put the soaked corn in a large pot and cover with as much cold water as possible. Bring to the boil and then simmer for about 60-90 minutes or until plumped up and soft. It will absorb a lot of liquid and might boil dry if you don’t keep an eye on it. Drain and allow to cool for about 20 minutes.
Dice your onion and soften gently for about 10 minutes in the vegetable oil on a medium heat. Add the chopped garlic and achiote powder. You can buy this in the Nour or Brixton Foods where it might be under the Caribbean name annatto. Soften it all for another 15 minutes.
Put the drained hominy in a large bowl and add the onion and garlic mix. Season. Use a hand blender or potato masher to turn the hominy into a sticky dough with no sign on the hominy kernels. Crack the eggs into all and mix in. Add the cornmeal a tablespoon at a time to make a pliable dough that comes away from the sides of the bowl easily.
If you want to make lots of small patties, add the grated mozzarella to the dough at this stage. You’ll get about 30 patties this way as bite sized snacks. Simply pinch small amounts of the dough with wet hands, roll into a ball and flatten. Chill for 30 minutes in the fridge.
If you want something heftier, you’ll get about 16 large patties. Line a baking tray with paper and pinch off larger amounts of dough with wet hands. Roll and flatten out on the tray. Then use your thumbs to push out toward the edges to make a hollow. Fill it with grated cheese and then cover over again with the corn dough. Chill for 30 minutes.
Make the peanut sauce by softening your onion with the achiote, cumin and paprika for about 15 minutes in a frying pan on a medium heat. Add the peanut butter to the hot pan and stir it all well. Turn the heat down as low as possible and mix in the milk, stirring constantly. Add the soy sauce and season as liked. Take off the heat and add the lime juice and fresh coriander. Leave covered until needed.
Heat the remaining oil in a frying pan on a medium heat and fry the patties in it. The small ones take about 2 minutes each side and the larger ones about 4 minutes each side. Keep the first ones in the oven while the others fry and serve hot with the cheese still melting.
Dollop on the peanut sauce and some hot sauce if liked. They are also great with some pickled red onion, avocado, salsa or a fried egg on top at any time of the day. The Brixton Blog team devoured every scrap of them so you know they are good as well as filling!