Masa Corn Cakes with Poached Eggs


For the Salsa:

2 large ripe tomatoes (about 1 pound), finely diced
1/4 small white or red onion, finely diced
1 jalapeno pepper, finely chopped (remove seeds for less heat)
1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro
Kosher salt

For the Corn Cakes and Eggs:

2 cups whole milk
3 tablespoons unsalted butter, sliced
2 cups masa harina corn flour
Kosher salt
2 teaspoons sugar
1/3 cup crumbled queso fresco or feta cheese, plus more forgarnish
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
8 large eggs
1 tablespoon white vinegar
1 Hass avocado, chopped, for garnish


Make the salsa: Combine the tomatoes, onion, jalapeno, cilantro and 1 teaspoon salt in a bowl.

Preheat the oven to 200 degrees. Make the corn cakes: Warm the milk and butter in a small saucepan over low heat just until the butter melts. Combine the masa harina, 1 teaspoon salt, the sugar and queso fresco in a large bowl. Stir in the milk mixture to make a soft dough. Scoop the dough into 8 portions (about 1/4 cup each) and place on a parchment-lined baking sheet. Cover with another sheet of parchment; press a pan on top to flatten into disks.

Heat 1 tablespoon olive oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium heat. Working in batches, fry the corn cakes until crisp and golden on the bottom, about 3 1/2 minutes; flip, press lightly with a spatula and cook until golden on the other side. Continue with the remaining cakes, adding more oil as needed. Season the cakes with salt; place on a baking sheet and keep warm in the oven while you poach the eggs.

Bring a deep pan of water to a simmer over medium-low heat; add the vinegar. Poach the eggs.

Divide the corn cakes among 4 plates; top each cake with a poached egg, salsa and cheese; serve with avocado.

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