Photo Credit: Cabot Creamery Co-operative
Serve these irresistible Puerto Rican snacks with plenty of your favorite hot sauce and a cool beverage. Recipe courtesy of the Cabot Creamery Cooperative.
- 3 cups water
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1½ cups stone-ground local cornmeal
- 1 teaspoon adobo seasoning, optional (or a pinch each red pepper, oregano, minced garlic, and ground cumin)
- ½ teaspoon coarsely ground black pepper
- 6 ounces Cabot Extra-Sharp Cheddar, Pepper Jack, or Habanero Cheddar, grated
- canola oil or unhydrogenated lard for frying (2 – 3 cups, depending on pan size)
Combine the water and salt in a saucepan and bring to a boil over medium-high heat. Reduce the heat to medium-low, then add the cornmeal a little at a time while whisking constantly. Continue stirring until the mixture simmers and thickens and is nice and smooth. Remove the pan from the heat, add the seasonings and cheese, and stir until the cheese is melted. Allow the mixture to cool to room temperature.
Moisten your hands with water, and pull out golf-ball-sized lumps of dough. Roll and form each ball into a cylinder about 3 to 4 inches long and 1 inch in diameter. As they are shaped, place the surullitos—not touching—on a baking sheet to rest. (The surullitos may be formed thus and held an hour or so before cooking. They will firm up if chilled. They may then, if it’s convenient, be sealed in a container and held in the refrigerator up to two days.)
Just before snacktime, place at least a ¾-inch depth of oil or lard in a cast-iron skillet, and heat it over medium heat to 325° (or until the surface appears a little wavy but oil is not smoking). Have tongs, a metal spatula, and a slotted spoon ready to manipulate and retrieve the surullitos. When the oil is hot, carefully ease five or six of the surullitos in the oil and cook for a few minutes per side, until they are crispy and golden brown all over. Place on a rack or absorbent paper to drain and cool a few minutes before serving.
Snacks for 8-10.