By Chef Karla Cruz – in reference to Cooking with corn
June is the month most awaited for those who live in the Brazilian State of Paraiba. In the northeast Brazil. During all the 30 days of June people celebrate the Saint John birthday and everybody “breathes” culture: from babies to the elderly. This is a tradition that goes from generation to generation and can be easily noticed on their music and regional food. The cities become more colorful and fragrant. Saint John receives many honors this time because he takes the rains to the plantations, especially corn and this is why the local traditional meals mostly have this ingredient in their recipes.
This is the reason that every year we carry out the Food Safari Sertao in Paraíba – a gastronomic and cultural trip expedition to discover the rich heritage of this Brazilian region
The smell of fresh corn is unforgettable and this is the main ingredient of this recipe. The chef Karla Cruz presents here the Canjica, as traditional in Paraíba state as pasta in Italy. The chef explains that she learned to cook Canjica with Vilande, her grandmother’s cook, who was responsible for many of her olfactory memories. Since she was little she liked staying in the kitchen, and felt extremely happy to serve and wait for the reaction of the diners to the first mouthful.
ABOUT THE CHEF: If the subject is a good food, chef Karla Cruz understands the whole process. She is a cook, food and beverage manager, sommelier and gastronomic consultant. Formed by Senac Brazilian Institute and the Brazilian Association of Sommeliers, she has born in the Sertao region of Paraíba State, in the northeast Brazil. The country side food of Caatinga Bioma is part of her identity. Like every good chef, she is a local food researcher and includes local food producers and chefs on activities to promote the regional unique flavors and ancient cooking techniques. She has opened more than 15 restaurants in her state and is pleasant to show here this simple recipe full of regional identity.
6 (units) green corn
500 ml of milk
250g of crystal sugar
Cinnamon powder – for sprinkling
With a knife separate the green corn from the cob. In a blender add the corn with the milk and beat for 3 minutes. Strain through a fine sieve and bring the strained liquid to a pan. Add the butter and sugar. Turn on the heat and stir constantly, when the hominy boils. Keep stirring for 20 minutes. Arrange on plates and sprinkle powdered cinnamon.