Sunday, July 22, 2012

Humita (Argentine Corn Pudding)

This recipe is adapted from Francis Mallmann's fantastic Seven Fires cookbook, an excellent source for a gourmet twist on Argentine cuisine. This recipe is much lighter and fresher than other versions of humita I have had in more traditional contexts.

-12 ears of corn: they are supposed to be grated to release the juices, but I don't have a box grater. I just sliced the kernels off of the corn and then ran them through a food processor in several batches. About half of the batches I just pulsed a few times, and the rest I ran until it was a very fine puree with all the released liquid content, to make the final texture a little more varied.
-4 Tablespoons butter
-2 Tablespoons olive oil
-1 large onion, chopped (2ish cups?)
-1 cup whole milk
-2 cups fresh basil leaves, sliced
-Salt, pepper, and crushed red pepper flakes

-Sautee the onion in the butter and olive oil, seasoned with salt and pepper, until deeply brown and caramelized (you're not supposed to caramelize the onions but I like it better that way).
-Add in the corn and all its juices and stir a few minutes until the mixture thickens.
-Add the milk in in about 1/4 cup batches, waiting until each batch is absorbed.
-Simmer until the corn is creamy and dense, and adjust the seasoning of salt and pepper if necessary.
-Reduce the heat and stir in the basil and red pepper flakes.

This amount I made served ~12 as a side dish. The corn can also be used as a main course, served with crusty bread and a salad; but the most traditional way I have encountered it is as a vegetarian filling for empanadas.

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