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Chi-Chi's Sweet Corn Cake

By Todd Wilbur


Score: 5.00. Votes: 4
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Chi-Chi's cofounder Marno McDermott named his restaurant chain after his wife Chi Chi. He claims the name is quite memorable as it translates in Spanish into something like "hooters" in English. The Minneapolis Star quoted McDermott in 1977 shortly after the first Chi-Chi's opened in Richfield, Minneapolis, "English-speaking patrons remember it because its catchy. And the Spanish-speaking customers are amused. Either way it doesn't hurt business."

One of the side dishes included with several of the entrees at Chi-Chi's is the Sweet Corn Cake. It's sort of like cornbread, but much softer, almost like corn pudding. You'll find it goes well with just about any Mexican dish. The recipe requires a bain marie, or water bath—a baking technique used commonly to keep custards from cracking or curdling. This is done by baking the corn cake in another larger pan filled with a little hot water.

Source: Top Secret Restaurant Recipes by Todd Wilbur.

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  • 1/2 cup (1 stick) butter, softened
  • 1/3 cup masa harina
  • 1/4 cup water
  • 1 1/2 cups frozen corn, thawed
  • 1/4 cup cornmeal
  • 1/3 cup granulated sugar
  • 2 tablespoons heavy cream
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • Do This
    • Restaurant/Brand
      Chi-Chi's
    • Instructions

      1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.

      2. Blend the butter in a medium bowl with an electric mixer until creamy. Add the masa harina and water to the butter and beat until well combined

      3. Put the defrosted corn into a blender or food processor and, with short pulses, coarsely chop the corn on low speed. You want to leave several whole kernels of corn. Stir the chopped corn into the butter and masa harina mixture. Add the cornmeal to the mixture. Combine.

      4. In another medium bowl, mix together the sugar, cream, salt, and baking powder. When the ingredients are well blended, pour the mixture into the other bowl and stir everything together by hand.

      5. Pour the corn batter into an ungreased 8x8-inch baking pan. Smooth the surface of the batter with the spatula. Cover the pan with aluminum foil. Place this pan into a 13x9-inch pan filled one-third of the way up with hot water. Bake for 50 to 60 minutes or until the corn cake is cooked through.

      6. When the corn cake is done, remove the small pan from the larger pan and let it sit for at least 10 minutes. To serve, scoop out each portion with an ice cream scoop or rounded spoon.

      Serves 8 to 10 as a side dish.

Reviews
Average rating:

Score: 5.00. Votes: 4
Rating of votes (4)
5
 
4 customers
4
 
 
0 customers
3
 
 
0 customers
2
 
 
0 customers
1
 
 
0 customers
 
Sheri
Aug 2, 2009, 21:00

This is an awesome side dish. . . . my husband and I could eat it all if we didn't make any other things for supper.

Excellent recipe
Jul 31, 2005, 21:00

As good as the original and now with Chi chi's closed, this is a major reason to purchase the books.

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