Recipe by Chef Sarita in Austin Texas
Grandma's recipe. It is traditionally made only during lent. It made a hearty meal for those who could not afford the fish that is usually eaten for lent. It took me forever to get this recipe from my grandmother and the few recipes posted on the internet looked kinda flaky. I now have it and am posting it for safekeeping. I do suggest using ONLY mexican or central american queso seco (dry cheese) because any other cheese simply will not work. This cheese does not have any moisture which allows the patties to hold well and it is salty enough that it almost eliminates the need to use any more salt. It can usually be found in most mexican stores or large specialty stores like Fiesta Mart.
FOR THE CAKES
- 2 cups dry masa harina for tortillas (MASECA)
- 2 eggs, beaten
- 1 1⁄2 cups dry cheese (Queso Seco)
- 1 -1 1⁄2 cup warm water
- 1⁄4 cup cooking oil
FOR THE STEW
- 5 cups chicken stock
- 1⁄2 teaspoon cumin
- 1⁄2 cup finely chopped tomatoes
- 1⁄2 cup finely chopped white onion
- 1⁄4 cup finely chopped green bell pepper
- 1⁄4 cup chopped cilantro
- 1 tablespoon cooking oil
- 1 1⁄2-3 tablespoons dry masa harinas for tortillas (MASECA)
Directions See How It's Made
- In a large bowl mix 2 cups masa harina and the cheese. Add the eggs and 1 cup water. Mix with hands until the dough holds together and is not dry. If the dough seems too dry and will not hold together when formed into a ball then add 1 tablespoon of water at a time until it reaches this consistency.
- Take a small amount of dough (about 1/4 cup) and form into a ball the size of a small egg. Flatten balls with your palms and shape into patties about 3 inches wide. Set aside. Cover patties with a wet paper towel while you are shaping the rest of the patties to prevent from drying out.
- Heat the 1/4 cup oil in a large frying pan. Add patties and fry on each side until golden brown, about 2 mins per side. Place on paper towel to drain and finish other patties.
- Mean while, in a medium-large pot over medium high heat, heat up the 1 tbspn cooking oil. Add all the veggies EXCEPT for the cilantro and saute until translucent. Add chicken stock and cumin. Slowly WHISK in the 1 1/2 tbspn of the masa harina to thicken it. You can add more masa harina to the stock if you whould like it thicker. Bring to a rapid boil then lower the temp to medium. Add the cilantro then add the patties in one by one. Do not mix or stir the pot to much because you could break the cakes up. Taste soup to make sure it does not need salt. Usually the saltiness of the cheese salts the soup enough.
- Simmer for about 20 mins or until desired thickness of the soup has been reached.
- Typically served in a large soup bowl over white rice with a side of lime wedges.