Posted by: Zorymar | October 12, 2010

Venezuelan Hallaquitas

Hallaquitas are very versatile little bundles of goodness: you can eat them alongside a good barbecue, with broiled chicken, shredded beef, or simply have them for breakfast with some butter and cheese on top. You can make them plain or incorporate ingredients like red peppers, grated parmesan cheese, spicy peppers… you get the idea.
Every time my grandma would make hallaquitas, it seemed as if our kitchen was suddenly transformed into a sort of one-woman-show cooking factory where, with her own two, she produced dozens and dozens of hallaquitas from scratch.

Ingredients:
4 cups of water
Salt (about 2 teaspoons)
3 cups of Harina Pan
Melted butter (about 2 tablespoons)
Additional ingredients that you can use: blended red pepper (which was used in this particular recipe), blended spicy pepper (go easy on these), grated cheese (about 2 cups), etc.
Corn husks (have enough of these around, they break and split easily)

Preparation:
Soak the corn husks in a large pot with hot water until they are soft, about 15 minutes. Drain and rinse well to clean them, being careful not to rub too hard to avoid them breaking too much. Set aside to drain. [Below you can see what the corn husks look like before and after they’ve been soaked and rinsed]


In a large bowl add the water and salt and mix to dissolve the salt; if you are incorporating blended ingredients, include them in the measure of water. Add the Harina Pan, mixing with your hand as you incorporate it to avoid lumps in the dough. Incorporate the melted butter (let it sit for a bit before incorporating so it’s not too hot to the touch), as well as any other optional ingredients (cheese, etc.). Knead well and let it sit for a couple of minutes, then knead again. Add a bit more water if necessary, the mix should not be too dry nor too soft. [Here is the dough with some blended red peppers]

Make little ‘balls’ with the dough and place each one in a corn husk:

Proceed to cover the dough balls with the corn husks (if needed include two husks, one on top of the other) and fold as shown below:

Cut the remaining corn husks into thinner strips (do this with your fingers by just pulling) and proceed to tie the hallaquitas as shown below:

Cook the hallaquitas in a large saucepan with plenty of boiling water and some salt for approximately 30 minutes. Set aside to drain. These can be eaten immediately or put in the fridge and reheated by simply placing them in boiling water for about 5 minutes. This recipe makes about 20 small hallaquitas.

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