Mexican Corn Cakes
Cotija, also known as queso anejado, is a crumbly, aged white cheese; look for it in specialty food stores or Latin markets. Feta cheese can be used in its place. Serve with Ponzu-Braised Chicken.
- 1 1/2 cups masa harina (Mexican corn flour) or cornmeal
- 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- 1/2 teaspoon coarse salt
- 1/2 cup grated cotija cheese
- 2 cups coarsely chopped fresh (from about 2 large ears) or frozen unthawed corn kernels
- 3/4 to 1 cup warm water (110 degrees)
- 1/4 cup safflower or other neutral tasting oil, plus more if needed
Whisk together masa harina, flour, baking powder, and salt. Stir in cheese and corn. Stirring constantly, add water, 1/4 cup at a time, just until mixture holds together.
Heat oil in a large cast-iron skillet over medium heat until hot but not smoking. Shape a heaping 1/3 cup corn mixture into a patty about 1/2 inch thick. Repeat, forming 8 patties total. Fry patties in two batches, turning once, until golden brown, 4 to 5 minutes per side; add more oil, if needed, between batches. Using a slotted spatula, transfer to paper towels. Tent cakes with parchment, then foil, to keep warm.