Recipe for Corn Nuts?
Lately, I've become obsessed with corn nuts. (Whole Foods in my area sells a nice version made in Spain that they call "quicos.") I'd love to try making my own. Anyone know how these little suckers are produced? Is it just deep fried corn kernals? Is there a particular type of corn that is used? (The Whole foods ones seem like they come from very big kernals.) Any advice would be much appreciated.
Dried hominy, mote pelado (from Peru) has been peeled, the hull is removed after the alkali soak. The corn used for toasting still has the hull. As with popcorn, it's the steam that builds up inside the hull that produces swelling and/or popping.
I don't know what would happen if you tried to 'toast' field corn (before the alkali soak).
I made some homemade Corn Nuts years ago but the way I made it is unlikely to to be helpful without advance planning. We had a HUGE sweet corn patch when I was growing up. It was the outer 8 rows of a 20 acre cornfield, along the highway. Anyway, about this time of year, or maybe a little later while pheasant hunting, I picked some of the sweetcorn ears which were mostly dried. I shelled the corn and put it in a kettle with some oil and cooked it. It did not pop like popcorn, but got puffed up and crunchy like Corn Nuts. Not too long after that I moved away from my hometown and never made corn nuts again.
You need the right corn. Actually it probably works with a couple of types. The corn used for 'tostadas' in Ecuador is not as large as that sold as maiz cancha in the Peruvian section of a Hispanic grocery.
I haven't made this:
Fried Corn Nuts
Vegetable oil for frying
1 cup dried giant white corn kernels, such as Goya brand (available at Latin American markets)
1/4 tsp sweet paprika
In a medium saucepan place 1-inch of vegetable oil. Heat to 300-degrees F
over high heat.
Reduce heat ot medium. Fry corn kernels in 2 or 3 batches until they are
golden brown, about 2 or 3 minutes per batch.
Transfer cooked kernels to bowl lined with paper towels.
When all kernels are fried, remove paper towels. Toss cooked kernels with
kosher salt, paprika and cayenne to taste.
Source: Paraphrased recipe from "It's All American Food: The Best Recipes for More Than 400 New American Classics" By David Rosengarten
Link to recipe page on Google books: