Today’s guest post comes from Kelly of Eat Make Read, a blog I’ve been loving for more than a year now! In addition to her clean layout and beautifully photographed posts, Kelly has a knack for picking recipes I want to try (case in point: apple chips, orange coconut silver dollar pancakes, homemade ketchup). I am so happy to be able to feature her here today!
Hi there! I’m kelly of eatmakeread. I’m thrilled to be guest posting for Shannalee. I’m also pretty excited about this recipe for arepas. One of my favorite weekly activities is going to my local farmers market and seeing all the lovely fruits and vegetables local farmers have grown. I am constantly amazed at how incredible and varied produce can be. Lately I’ve been really into corn… cornbread, corn cakes, corn pudding, you name it, I want it. So when Mark Bittman wrote about arepas a few weeks ago, you can bet I got busy whipping up a batch.
These arepas are a great recipe to make after a long day at work because they’re easy to make, super fresh and oh-so-delicious, plus chances are you’ll have leftovers for the next days lunch. Simply make the batter, let it sit for about 15 minutes (may I recommend sitting down with a glass of wine and relaxing), and then you’re ready to go.
Now, Mr. Bittman recommends making little patties and then frying them up. Call me lazy, but I just prefer to scoop about 1/4 cup of the batter into the pan. Let those little patties fry up for a few minutes, flip them and let them cook a bit more until they’re nice and golden. Pretty soon you’ll have yourself a plate of golden patties ready to be devoured.
You can simply eat them as is, top them with salsa or cut them in half and fill them with cheese or beans or whatever your heart desires. My favorite way to eat them is paired with some homemade tomatillo salsa, either sandwiched inside or just spooned over top. They are crispy on the outside, warm and fluffy on the inside and peppered with bits of corn, jalepeño and cheese. Arepas are the perfect way to celebrate the end of summer.
arepas with corn and cheese
from Mark Bittman at the New York Times
makes 8-12 arepas
1 cup yellow cornmeal, finely ground
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup grated Cheddar or Monterey Jack cheese
1 cup milk
2 tablespoons butter, more for serving, optional
1/2 cup fresh sweet corn kernels, or frozen kernels, thawed
1/4 cup chopped scallion
1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro
1 small serrano or jalapeño chili, seeded and minced, optional
3 tablespoons corn, canola, grapeseed or other neutral oil
Cooked black beans or vegetables or sour cream for stuffing, optional.
Put cornmeal in a large bowl with salt and cheese. Put milk in a small saucepan over medium-low heat until steam rises, then add butter and stir until melted. Remove from heat and stir into cornmeal mixture until a thick batter is formed. Fold in the corn kernels, scallion, cilantro and chili if using.
Let batter rest until it thickens into a soft dough, about 15 minutes. Gently form 3- to 4-inch balls from mixture and flatten with palm of your hand to a 1/2-inch-thick disk. (You can cover and refrigerate disks for a few hours if you like.)
Heat oil in a large skillet and cook arepas, working in batches, until golden brown, about 5 minutes, then flip and cook for another 3 minutes on other side. When all arepas are cooked and cool enough to handle, carefully slice them through the middle. If desired, serve with butter or stuff with beans, vegetables or sour cream.