One of the most delicious side dishes in Venezuela are hallaquitas, or bollitos. The name is still debatable. Some people call them hallaquitas and some call them bollitos. Either way they are delicious. We usually serve them as a side dish, much like you would a baked potato, and then add some butter on top, or Guasacaca and enjoy. This is a very common side dish to have with a good Parrilla Venezolana (Venezuelan Grilled Steak, much like your BBQs, but without BBQ sauce). Another great dish to have hallaquitas with is rotisserie chicken. Since we also accompany these dishes with Guasacaca, hallaquitas are the perfect side dish for those occasions. They are also great if you incorporate other ingredients such as pork rind, chorizo or cheese inside them. But the plain ones are great with some butter, Guasacaca, mojo isleño, mojo de cilantro, or chimichurri on top.
What you need:
– 8 to 10 Dried Corn Husks
– 1 Cup Harina P.A.N.
– ¾ Cup Water (for mixture)
– 1 Tablespoon Butter
– 1Teaspoon Salt
– ¼ Cup or 250 g. Chorizo, one link (optional)
– 5 Cups Water (for boiling)
1. Separate and clean the corn husks, then soak them in water for about 1 hour so they can be bent without breaking. If you don’t have one hour to spare, you can just pre-boil them for about 5 minutes so they can be bent easily.
2. In a bowl mix in the Harina P.A.N., the ¾ Cup of water, the salt and the butter (softened or melted).
3. Once you have kneaded the mixture and it becomes homogeneous you can begin forming the hallaquitas.
4. Grab a handful of the dough (or separate in 4 equal parts), and roll it in your hands to form a cylindrical shape. (Here is where you can add chopped chorizo, cheese, pork rind, etc.).
5. Wrap each hallaquita with 2 or 3 corn husks so that the dough is well covered. You can accomplish this by wrapping them on the widest side of the corn husk, and then folding down the rest of the corn husk on top of the hallaquita and tie it down either with another piece of corn husk, or with a rubber band right down the middle, and if you need to, you can add another rubber band or tie at the end.
6. Begin to boil enough water, and when it starts to boil add the hallaquitas. Cook for 40 minutes on high heat. You are supposed to know they are ready when they start to float, however mine floated as soon as I introduced them in the water. So to be safe, just wait the 40 minutes.
7. Remove from pot and drain for about 3 minutes, and serve hot. You can serve them with the corn husk, or without.
8. Serve as a side with butter, or chimichurri, or Guasacaca, or anything else you like.
*Makes about 4 to 5 hallaquitas.