I undoubtedly keep in mind an episode of Parts Unknown involving Bourdain visiting Colombia and consuming arepas. I simply checked, and that will have been in 2013. So, I’ve been inquisitive about arepas and questioning how you can make them not less than since then. The new ebook Colombiana: A Rediscovery of Recipes and Rituals from the Soul of Colombia by Mariana Velasquez, of which I obtained a evaluate copy, has taught me to make arepas and a lot extra about Colombian meals. Velasquez has labored in restaurant kitchens, examined and developed recipes for meals magazines, styled meals for photograph shoots, and contributed to different cookbooks all whereas residing within the US for greater than half of her life. This ebook brings all these abilities along with a possibility to share the delicacies of her homeland. There are recipes for the morning, menus for lunch or dinner together with a lot of tempting cocktails, afternoon snacks, favourite on a regular basis dishes of hers that may not be strictly Colombian in origin, and desserts. I observed the cocktails as quickly as I began turning the pages. Aguadiente, referred to as the nationwide liqueur of Colombia, seems in just a few of them. The Mistela de Mora is began by infusing aguadiente with blackberries, inexperienced peppercorns, and bay leaves. And, the Coquito Mio sounds scrumptious with coconut liqueur, aged rum, lime juice, and coconut water. Each menu is launched with a setting of a specific place in Colombia and time of yr. Reading about Bogota, at 8,500 ft above sea degree, on a cool, fall day made me wish to strive the dishes much more. That menu features a potato soup with corn, hen, and capers and a strawberry meringue with dandelion cream for dessert. The creator’s father was of Syrian-Lebanese respectable, and Middle Eastern immigrants arrived within the Sinu River Valley of Colombia within the late 1800s and early 1900s. This introduced new flavors to the world which are mirrored in a menu with stuffed yucca fritters with creme fraiche, olives, hummus, pita bread; yam soup with cheese; and a mango-sesame baked Alaska. There are candy and savory empanadas, shrimp cocktail, and ice cream sandwiches with molasses cookies and malt ice cream. One snack I couldn’t wait to strive was the Alegrias de Coco y Anis. These are popcorn balls held collectively by date syrup and tahini. They’re normally made with a small sort of popcorn, coconut flakes, and anis seeds. I can report they didn’t final lengthy in my home. But, let’s get again to these arepas.
I liked the thought of creating mini arepas or arepitas. The methodology is identical, they’re simply made smaller. I began by putting an order with Rancho Gordo for dried hominy. It was soaked in a single day, drained, and cooked till tender. Some cooking liquid was saved, and the hominy was drained. It was positioned in a meals processor with reserved cooking liquid, butter, and salt and was processed till clean. Small balls of dough had been fashioned and then flattened into thick rounds earlier than being cooked on all sides in a small little bit of scorching oil in a cast-iron skillet till charred and golden in spots. The tomato jam paired with the arepitas was impressed by a Paula Wolfert recipe from The Food of Morocco. Velasquez styled this dish for that ebook in Marrakesh the place it was photographed. For the jam, canned tomatoes had been mixed with paprika, garlic, coriander seeds, salt, pepper, and olive oil within the blender and pureed. The combination was then cooked slowly over low warmth till diminished and thickened.
The little arepas had been thick sufficient to remain tender on the within whereas the surfaces had been crispy, and the tomato jam was a terrific topping. I wish to use leftovers saved within the freezer for brunch with eggs. And, I wish to have a continuing provide of arepas in my freezer. Until I’ve an opportunity to go see for myself all of the locations talked about all through the ebook and style the dishes the place they originated, I can continue to learn about Colombia by cooking these recipes.