An Arepa Recipe You Won’t Soon Forget

In Colombia, the place the meals stylist Mariana Velásquez grew up, each area has its personal number of arepas. Some have a couple of. Bogotá, Ms. Velásquez notes in her new cookbook, “Colombiana,” has at the least 72 variations all by itself.

“From the sweet yuca arepas of Cesar to the anís arepas of Magangué, from the breadfruit arepas of San Andrés to green chickpea arepas from the Tenza Valley,” she writes, for Colombians, “arepas are simply their native bread.”

An historic sort of flat, spherical cake constructed from boiled, dried corn floor to a flour, arepas are additionally a cornerstone of Venezuelan delicacies, and are present in Bolivia, in addition to elements of Ecuador and Peru.

A tomato and avocado salad zipped up with lemon juice rounds out the recipe.Credit…Ryan Liebe for The New York Times. Food Stylist: Maggie Ruggiero.

When Ms. Velásquez got down to write her cookbook — a celebration of conventional and fashionable Colombian delicacies — there was no query that a number of recipes for arepas can be included. The problem was selecting which of them.

“There are just so many different kinds,” she instructed me over the telephone, “but arepas de choclo were essential because they are special, unlike the others.”

The phrase “choclo,” she defined, means candy corn in Quechua, the language of the Incas, which continues to be spoken in elements of South America. In arepas de choclo, corn kernels are blended with the same old floor corn to make the batter.

But even arepas de choclo can take many types.

“They can be thin enough to fold in half, or thicker like a cake,” Ms. Velásquez mentioned. “You can fry them over an open fire, or wrap them in plantain leaves to give them a specific taste.”

The arepas are fried till crisp and golden.Credit…Ryan Liebe for The New York Times. Food Stylist: Maggie Ruggiero.

Sweet and moist within the heart, arepas de choclo are often stuffed with cheese. If you’ve ever had mozzarella-stuffed arepas at a road honest, you’ve sampled certainly one of their many iterations.

Ms. Velásquez’s recipe is on the fragile aspect, and very easy. Corn kernels are puréed, then blended with masarepa (precooked cornmeal) and two sorts of cheese. If you’ll be able to’t discover masarepa (P.A.N. is one model accessible in giant supermarkets), on the spot polenta makes substitute, she mentioned. But don’t use masa harina, which is a distinct product.

In her take, Ms. Velásquez rounds out the pancakes with a tomato and avocado salad zipped up with lemon juice.

Although in Colombia, arepas de choclo are sometimes eaten as a snack, these could make an exquisite meatless summer season meal that’s good for brunch, lunch or a light-weight dinner.

“Arepas are something that everybody loves,” Ms. Velásquez mentioned, “the kind of recipe that brings all kinds of people together to enjoy.”

Recipe: Arepas de Choclo With Avocado Salad

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