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Ontario, Canada
I am a wife, mother and grandma who enjoys the many aspects of homemaking. A variety of interests and hobbies combined with travel keep me active. They reflect the importance of family, friends, home and good food.
Cook ingredients that you are used to cooking by other techniques, such as fish, chicken, or hamburgers. In other words be comfortable with the ingredients you are using.
--Bobby Flay

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Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Chicharron de Harina (Wheat Pellets)

One of my foodie finds at Bravo during our vacation was Chicharron de Harina (wheat pellets).  I specifically focused on Mexican foods here.  I had bags of really interesting wagon wheel shaped snacks that looked a lot like a fancy cheesee at the flea market on the previous trip.  I asked what they were and the lady explained they were a fried dough like tortillas.  It wasn't practical for me to bring home a bag as we had flown that trip.  This trip I looked for the wagon wheel shape in the hopes of being able to cook the snack at home since I didn't think they would travel well.

uncooked chicharron de harina
Chicharron de Harina are wheat pellets similar to pasta.  The pellets have a unique wagon wheel shape but can also be found as strips.  The pellets have a shiney, hard candy appearance.  Each wagon wheel pellet is about 1¼ - inch diameter.  Some are made using pork fat but the ingredients in the ones I bought are: wheat flour, iodized salt, corn starch, sodium bicarbonate, vegetable oil, colorant yellow #5, #6 cert and red #40.  I would imagine using pork fat would give a rather nice flaver similar to pork rinds.  Those not made with pork or fried in lard are a favourite vegetarian Mexican snack.

deep fried chicharron de harina
The chicharron de harina were quite easy to prepare.  I heated vegetable oil to 190ºC (375ºF) in the deep fryer.  When the oil was heated I dropped 5 - 6 of the hard wheat pellets into the hot oil.  They initially sink then within a couple of seconds puff up to about double size and rise to the top of the oil.  I gave quick stir to ensure they were cooked through then drained on a paper towel.  The total cooking time for each batch was about 20 seconds.  We enjoyed the chicharron de harina plain but you can sprinkle with salt, chili powder or sugar and cinnamon if desired.  An alternative serving suggestion is to sprinkle with lime juice or a dash or two of hot sauce.

Our grandchildren thought they were quite tasty so I sent some of the uncooked chicharron de harina home with them.  The pellets do go a long way!  I fried about 25 pellets when the grandchildren were here then later that night I fried up about half of the bag for entertaining and I still have almost a full 500 ml jar of the pellets left.  As snacks go this is a very frugal choice at only $1.69 with enough pellets to make several batches of the tasty snack.  I popped the leftover fried chicharron de harina into a storage container just to see how well this snack keeps.  The following day they were still crispy so this is a snack that could be made ahead for entertain, school lunches or picnics.

2 food lovers commented:

w0rkingAth0mE said...

wow love it, i like the design, we have here chicharon snack but with different styles, your chicharon was appealing especially for children.

Judy said...

I put the pellets in the microwave and cook (watching thru window) until they are all puffed up. Lower fat, lower calories, and still delicious.