Along the Idea of Fried Masa Cake with Meat Patty cooked into the Middle...?

Has ayone ever eaten or tried to make this idea that's rumbling round in my head as I come near the end of a waaaay too long meatloaf making project?: i'd like to make something in the way of a masa cake or a fried cornbread (it's a VA thing I grew up with; white cornmeal patty fried) that has a creamy ground meat mixture in the center. kind of like that thing with a piece of bread w/ a hole and you crack an egg into it. except w/ these cornmeal patties or pancakes, you lay in a partially cooked? meat patty before you slip the whole thing into 1/2 " of hot oil....What I want to create is a one piece sandwich with the meat patty cooked into the cornmeal patty. is this crazy or doable? any ideas? I appreciate your time!

LeBec Fin


BoulderGalinTokyo August 23, 2013
While I know nothing about the ramen burger (NY creation), I think you are on to something here. With a little of Bubbah Mac's SC Mustard Barbeque Sauce for dipping and I think you have a winner!
LeBec F. August 23, 2013
I finally made my idea! I seared and cooked slider-size 2 1/2" W meat patties from a curry meatloaf recipe I've been developing. I made masarepa from instant masarepa flour, salt, rich chicken stock, butter, egg yolks, minced shallot and grated pepper jack cheese. I made a 1/3" thick masa patty, placed the meat patty on it, topped w/ another masa patty, sealed all the edges and smoothed the masa shell and shape. In bacon fat and canola oil, I seared and cooked the 'masa burgers' and then finished them in a 350 oven for 15 minutes. When you cut one in half, its a thin masa shell w/ a burger in the middle. Loved it. Also can put cheese on top of the patty before wrapping it in masa; this will create a layer of melted cheese. I also liked it w/ a thicker masa shell.

So, watch out Ramen Burger! Masa Burger is comin' through!!
savorthis August 23, 2013
Sounds like a perfect hangover snack! And it reminds me of the deep fried burger that used to be served at Bastien's, a local institution famous for their "sugar steak." They took a burger and stuffed it with basically another sandwich (my husband chose the Reuben) then deep fried the entire thing, bun and all. It ended up looking like a spaceship and was delicious for about two bites (or more for the brave). Most surprising was it appeared on the "lighter fare" section of the menu!
LeBec F. August 24, 2013
When i made them tonight, i found that it was not necessary to finish them in the oven. I also made an egg sandwich version. In a pam'd ring, I fried an egg over medium, salt and peppered it and put it on a slice of Jones canadian bacon. Topped egg w/ grated gruyere and placed this on a masarepa patty. Topped the whole thing w/ another masarepa patty, sealed the edges, patted all over and fried in some bacon fat and canola oil. The egg was def cooked through (no way to avoid that, it seems)unfortunately, but it was still really delic.
ChefOno August 13, 2013

The lime here is calcium hydroxide, an alkali, not the acidic fruit. The process does change the flavor profile slightly and enhances it significantly, but it's more about nutrition and elasticity of the dough.

pierino August 13, 2013
Why do I always find myself backing up ChefOno? But he's exactly right here. Corn/maize is a New World food.Somehow the mezoamericans figured out the alkanization process (I think using ash). The Europeans took it home and treated it as if it were just another grain flour with disasterous health results until they got they lime thing right. This possibly why in most European countries corn/maize is usually used as food for animals. The Italians finally got it right with polenta.
savorthis August 13, 2013
I have only used masa harina (successfully) in making tamales. I, sadly, have yet to master corn tortillas despite how easy everyone says they are! So I can only speak to arepa flour in its fried patty form and can say it holds together really well. I love how quick they are to make and we usually will saute some onions and peppers and fold that into the dough. You can also use just about any liquid so we sometimes use broth or a combo of broth and water. The dough is really easy to work, thus easy to stuff. One of our favorite summer dishes is to stuff them with cheese and fry them, then serve grilled rib eye on top with avocado, cilantro and a salsa made from green zebra tomatoes, lime juice, garlic, green tabasco and salt. Amazing!

I know people say there is a big taste difference between the two flours but I can't say I recall the tamales tasting particularly acidic, though I imagine it varies with the brand of flour. I have read that the lime also acts as a preservative and would imagine you would not want lots of it. I am really interested to see what you come up with!
LeBec F. August 13, 2013
So w/o chefono saying this exactly, i'm getting the sense
that masa harina, w/ its 'enhanced flavor profile' is the way to go. besides, i have a definite preference/reverance for Mexican food over So. Amer (which, for my taste, is too boring, compared to Mexican and the complexity of all the spices, nuts, etc in the larder.No offense to the big continent of S.A.[including the spicy subset of brazilian food]; it's just my preference.) Of course i will report back when i have tested the idea. My inclination is to think that masa harina has a bit of tang (kind of like sourdough does)where masa arepa does not. ash=tang or maybe some other unidentifiable flavor.

I like it that thick masa (harina) cakes w/ toppings can be called 'huarachas' (sandals.)Maybe what i'm going for is closed toe huarachas. hahaha.
savorthis August 12, 2013
I agree that a polenta would be a good method. I used to stuff arepa dough with meat and cheese and fry them. The flour is pre-cooked so it comes together really quickly. We used cooked, seasoned ground beef but they were thin enough that it seems raw could work. We also experimented in baking them into mini muffin tins. My other favorite dish involving meat stuffed in a dough is caldo de bolas where seasoned meat is stuffed in a plantain dough and simmered in a soup. I have experimented with turning that same dough into more of an empanada dough that could be baked. Nothing miraculous to report on that idea yet but it is promising. As sexyLAMBCHOPx mentions, many people around the world clearly think marrying meat and dough into a one-handed edible is a worthy pursuit!
LeBec F. August 13, 2013
thks for all the thought so far. I don't think polenta is the flavor profile i'm seeking. The muffin tin idea is a cool one, but i think i am looking for a distinct crunch on the outside of the dough, which leads me to think it has to be cooked in hot oil of some amount.

As to arepas, this sounds like exactly what i was describing as a goal end product.
I'd appreciate your thoughts, though:
arepas are made w/ masa arepa. gorditas and huarachas are made with masa/masa harina (made w/ flaked lime.)Is the taste difference that those made w/ masa have a tart/sour flavor element but those made w/ masa arepa do not?(I am an acid fan.) And do the 2 different masa behave differently? i.e. one holds together better or whatever?
sexyLAMBCHOPx August 12, 2013
My favorite local restaurant offers an oriental hamburger called Peremech This hamburger has spiced ground beef wrapped in crispy dough, with a peep hole into which the Tartars (and customers) add a dash of hot bouillon, sour cream, soy sauce and onion.

I've tried to research this recipe, & have some history but no recipe. I guess I could figure it out, but if anyone reads this and has any ideas, please let me know. Like the dumpling, meatball, potato pancakes, etc., this type of food (meat encased in dough) spans globally.
LeBec F. August 13, 2013
choppy, wow, are you a happy camper or what?!where are you? Are these dumplings that are fried?or What are the characteristics of the dough?(noodle, pastry dough, pancake?) Can you ask them how they make it, and post a photo?

(This is sort of OT on my own thread, but I'm intrigued by this 'new concept' NYC item- Ramen Burgers.
It didn't really make sense to me until read an interview w/ the vendor where he described the juices being absorbed by the ramen...but it still seems awfully messy to eat.
sexyLAMBCHOPx August 14, 2013
Hi LBF, I love that you called me choppy!

I found this recipe if you were interested in viewing. Maybe you can play around with it.

Best, Chops : )
LeBec F. August 14, 2013
above is the link that worked for me. Thx choppie; this is a dumpling like we see at Dim Sum meals in the U.S. So interesting that you pour the broth into the hole. There is a dim sum dumpling called 'soup dumplings' that has broth IN the dumpling when it is steamed, so that when you bite into the dumpling, the juice (soup/ broth) bursts into your mouth.It is a favorite of many people!
BoulderGalinTokyo August 12, 2013
Then there's empanadas and piroshki. Australian meat pies?
BoulderGalinTokyo August 12, 2013
Both ChefOno's and Pierino's idea sounds wonderful.

In another direction, many meat fillings are added to Nikuman, a Chinese-type dumpling that is usually steamed, but there are some versions from the Shinshu area that are fried.

Like to come for dinner, hint, hint.
klrcon August 11, 2013
You might Google for recipes for Columbian arepas - they're usually done with just cheese here but I've had them in Columbia with a meat patty inside, also a hard-boiled egg, and they were pretty much as you describe.
ChefOno August 11, 2013

How about this: Fully cook the meat patties while preparing a batch of polenta. Pour a layer of polenta into a ramekin or other round container and let it set up for a few minutes. Center a meat patty in the mold and fill with another layer of polenta. Allow to firm up overnight before frying in (olive) oil at a relatively low temperature until warmed through and crispy.

pierino August 11, 2013
I like ChefOno's suggestion. And to "gild the lily", once the cakes come out of the oven you could top them with red enchilada sauce and grated cheese. Run that under a broiler just long enough for the cheese to melt.
LeBec F. August 10, 2013
Yes, i actually have both leftover pupusas and gorditas in my frig as we speak! do you think a thicker pupusa could work/ cook correctly? and do you think i'd need to cook the meat patty first?
i was also wondering about hushpuppy batter and trying to imagine if i'd dip a raw, or cooked, meat patty into the batter and then put it into a pool of hot oil...... But i think meat patties are better with a crust on them, so maybe i would sear and cook the patty and then pour the batter over the top and sides; but then that could only work with a thin pool of oil.....
What do yall think? thx again.
ChefOno August 10, 2013

Or the Mexican gordita.

pierino August 10, 2013
The idea is similar to the Salvadoran pupusa except that you wouldn't use a meat patty as such. It's sort of like a flattened tamale. Typically served with a spicy slaw.
LeBec F. August 10, 2013
p.s. maybe I could try to make okonomoyaki with the meat patty in the middle?
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