Today I found myself with two leftover ears of sweet corn. As I began thinking what I could make with them, the word riguas suddenly came to mind. Riguas are Salvadoran corn cakes. There are a lot of different versions of riguas out there. Some recipes use nothing more than corn kernels, sugar, and salt.
Other recipes add butter to the mixture, and still others add cheese, such as queso fresco, and corn flour. I prefer the ones made with both cheese and butter because I have found that the ones made without those two ingredients are usually just too dry tasting. Because I usually don't have any queso fresco lying around, I use a combination of cream cheese, (or sour cream if I have it), and heavy cream, (or crema if i have it). I always use a little butter because I think the butter really helps to accentuate the sweet taste of the corn.
Riguas are usually cooked in banana leaves on an open grill outdoors as corn tends to smoke and stink a little when you cook it. Because I rarely will have any banana leaves lying around in my closet, and because they are a pain to first have to soak, I cook my riguas in a skillet in the house with the vent on and the kitchen window slightly open.
Riguas can be eaten anytime, breakfast, lunch, or dinner. They are the perfect snack if you are craving corn, something every member of my family does quite frequently. And for something so sweet, these things are pretty healthy compared to the usual postre!
2 ears of sweet yellow corn
3/4 cup of precooked yellow cornmeal (I like to use the PAN brand)
3/4 cup of instant corn masa (the kind you make tortillas with, I like the Masa Brosa brand)
6 Tbsp. salted butter, melted
3 Tbsp. heavy cream or crema, both work equally well.
3 Tbsp. sour cream. You can use cream cheese if don't have sour cream.
2 tsp. of white sugar
1/2 tsp. salt
- Remove the kernels of corn from the ears using a knife.
- Chop up corn kernels in blender. Don't grind them completely. Make sure you still have a few whole kernels in the mixture.
- Place ground corn kernels into a bowl and add all other ingredients. Mix well.
- Form patties out of the batter using your hands and place them on a plate.
- Heat skillet to medium and place some butter in the pan.
- Once the skillet is hot, cook 2-4 corn patties at a time, depending on size of skillet, until they are golden brown on each side.
- Serve hot corn cakes with crema or sour cream.