In all honesty, this recipe came about in my attempt to create a bit of interesting 'stodge' to go with our very spicy bean stew. I didn't want the usual boring potatoes or rice and bread was of course out of the question. So inspiration struck from the Venezuelan classic arepa - a grilled round 'pancake' made of a type of corn flour similar to masa harina, but specially meant for arepas. This mini corn pancake tastes amazing on its own, or classically stuffed with cheese or shredded meats almost like a taco, but many arepas are served with spicy stews to offset the multitude of flavours already competing for your taste-buds and to provide more weight to a vegetarian or meat-minimal dish.
This recipe then is a cross between Southern U.S 'griddle cakes' and South American arepas with a few European herbs thrown into the mix for a deeper flavour.
1 heaped tsp dried oregano leaves
1 heaped tsp dried or fresh rosemary leaves ground or chopped very finely
2 tbsps olive oil
Whisk the above together then prepare the flour mixture:
1/3 cup potato starch
2/3 cup polenta/cornmeal
1/3 cup rice flour
1/4 cup buckwheat flour
1/4 tsp xanthan gum
2 tsp baking powder (gluten free)
*3/4 cups milk (see instructions below)
Mix the flours together then add to the egg mixture and gradually whisk in by starting from the centre, incorporating the flour from around the outside. When the mixture starts to stiffen then add *1/4 cup milk, keep whisking until it starts to stiffen and then add the next 1/4 cup milk, whisk, then follow with the last 1/4 cup.
Heat the frying pan on low-medium heat. Brush some oil onto the pan. To stop the pan from smoking too much simply cook 4 griddle cakes at one time to reduce exposed surface area- this will also give you nice and small cakes. Keep them warm on a plate in the oven on the lowest heat setting until ready to serve. They are best eaten fresh and can be toasted any other time for a quick snack- try it with melted cheese on top.