Arepa is a flatbread made of ground maize dough or cooked flour prominent in the cuisine of Colombia and Venezuela. It has a great variety of uses and is often eaten for breakfast with jam or split for sandwiches.
I came across this recipe in the latest issue of Bon Appetit magazine, and seeing that it was vegan, gluten and soy free I just had to try it. I really liked the simplicity of the recipe and the result was a nice little corncake, a lot like an English muffin, crispy on the outside and tender on the inside.
I stuffed mine with a spicy Mexican bean and cheese filling, but I imagine you could serve them with just about anything.
recipe courtesy Bon Appetit magazine
2 cups masarepa (pre-cooked cornmeal, not masa harina or corn flour, this is very important)
2 tsp. kosher salt
2 1/2 cups warm water
2 tbsp. vegetable oil
Mix masarepa with salt in a bowl. Make a well in the center and stir in the water with a wooden spoon until there are no lumps. Allow to sit for five minutes to hydrate the mixture. Knead mixture a few times then divide into 8 portions, forming each into a ball then patting into a small cake about 1/2 inch thick.
Heat 1 tbsp. oil in a large non-stick skillet and place four arepas to cook, covered, until brown, about 6-8 minutes. Turn and cook the other side, uncovered about 6-8 minutes. Remove and cool on a wire rack. Repeat with 1 tbsp oil and remaining arepas. When cool enough to handle, split and fill as desired.
It’s never too late to rediscover tofu. If you think you’ve tried it before, you haven’t really, until you’ve tasted this recipe from “Viva Vegan” by Terry Hope Romero. The recipe is not officially posted on the web by Ms. Romero, but it can be found here at the ChowHound site. I can attest it is the same from the book. What I love about this recipe is the flavor packs a real punch for the relative simplicity of the ingredients. Think fresh citrus, cumin and garlic. I also love that it is baked, so you can pop it in the oven and wander away for awhile or make your side dishes in the meantime with the stovetop free. I would serve this tofu with lime cilantro rice and grilled tri-color bell peppers. It would be nice stuffed in a burrito or or taco as well. I would also put it on a plate all by itself and eat it, which I can’t seem to stop doing. I tried this recipe a few days ago, then I had to make it again today and I doubled the recipe this time. That’s how delicious it is. This is the recipe to make for those that do not yet appreciate the subtle flavor of tofu on its own.
I tried the recipe with both frozen thawed tofu and regular pressed tofu and prefer the regular. The frozen thawed tofu absorbed too much of the marinade during baking and it came out pretty dry, although flavorful. It would almost fool a non-vegan.
Kudos to Ms. Romero, co-author of “Veganomicon”! I hope you enjoy this recipe as much as I do!