This is not where I figured I'd end up. I had made some chorizo and wanted a simple side dish to soak up the porky goodness. Since I was out of tortillas, and didn't feel like making my own, I searched through Bistro Latino by Rafael Palomino for ideas. That's when I landed on arepas, a popular dish in Colombia, the motherland of Palomino. Best of all, I had all the ingredients. My only concern? I'd never actually eaten arepas before.
So I say this with complete ignorance: I'm not sure this is the best method for making arepas. None of the instructions matched my results. The dough was supposed to be sticky but firm, whereas mine turned out as loose as pancake batter, which made rolling them into balls impossible. I decided to treat them like pancakes, and poured them on the griddle, allowing gravity to flatten them out. They were somewhat messy, but surprisingly tasty. I actually didn't even need the chorizo piled on top. They survived on their own.
If anyone has a better arepas recipe, please chime in.
About the author: Nick Kindelsperger is a co-founder of The Paupered Chef, a blog dedicated to saving time and money while enjoying food in every way possible. He sells wine for a living and lives in Columbus, Ohio.
- 1 cups fine-ground cornmeal
- 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1 cup boiling water
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1 tablespoon honey
- 1/2 chipotle in adobo
- Canola oil
Mix the cornmeal, salt, boiling water, olive oil, honey, and chipotle in a large bowl. Stir until there are no lumps. If the mixture is too wet add more cornmeal. It should be a solid mass but still sticky. Set the bowl aside for 15 minutes.
Dump the mixture out on a large cutting board, and divide into 4 equal sections. Flatten each piece to about 1/2 inch thick using a spatula.
Preheat a griddle or a large skillet to medium-high heat. Brush the surface with canola oil. Add the cornmeal mixture and cook until golden brown on each side, about a minute or two.