Mandocas are similar to sweet and fried pretzels but with a single ear, served with grated cheese or small wedges of salty semi-soft cheese. They are made with pre-cooked corn meal, banana, grated cheese and panela (cane sugar).
- In a small to medium-sized pan, boil half of the panela (piloncillo) in 2-3 cups of water to break the block. This will become sweetened water that you will be using to mix in the flour with the plantain and the cheese.
- Peel the plantain and cut into pieces. In another container with water and a bit of salt, boil the plantain for about 20-30 minutes. It should feel soft when pierced with a fork.
- Grate the white cheese until you obtain 1 1/2 cups.
Everything should be ready before proceeding to mix with the cornmeal:
- In a large bowl, mix 2-3 cups of cornmeal with the lukewarm panela water, kneading continuously to prevent dough balls from forming.
- Once mixed, gradually add the plantain puree and panela water if necessary, until you get a homogeneous texture.
- Add the grated cheese
- Knead continuously until you obtain homogeneous dough that does not stick to the edges of the bowl.
Recipe by: Claudia Ahrens-Hernandez