After a long break with my family, filled with laughter, love, non stop eating and drinking, I am finally ready to be eating & cooking back to normal. This dish I had to kick off with because not only is it one of my favourites to eat, it is incredibly healthy and a great meal for anytime of the day! This is a take on the Venezuelan dominó with a Colombian twist.
The foundation of this dish is the arepa, which is a Colombian mainstay. They are normally had for breakfast, but can be had really at any time of the day. Healthy & easy to make, this always reminds me of home! Plantains are another Colombian tradition. We like them sweet & savoury, one of the most versatile things I can cook! Try your closest Caribbean/Jamaican/Latin American/South American supermarket for these bad boys! This serves 4 as a lunch, or add a small side salad to make it a wonderful supper!
- 2/3 cup pre-cooked white cornmeal
- 2/3 cup warm water
- 4 tsp butter, soft
- 1 tsp salt
- oil or butter for cooking
- 4 cooked arepas
- 1 cup crumbled queso fresco, cotija or feta cheese (optional)
- 1 cup guacamole (mashed up avocados mixed with salt, pepper, lemon/lime juice, coriander/cilantro chopped & minced garlic)
- 4 sweet potatoes, roasted in their own skin and flesh scooped out
- 1 tsp chilli flakes, or more to taste if you like it spicy
- 2-3 tbsp maple syrup or agave
- salt & pepper
- 1 tbsp coconut oil
- 1/4 cup finely chopped onion
- 2 garlic cloves, crushed
- 1/4 cup red bell pepper, chopped
- 1 cup cooked black beans, canned or dried
- Salt & pepper
- 1 tsp ground cumin
- 1/2 tsp turmeric
2 tbsp of vegan margarine/butter/your choice
1 ripe plantain, peeled & diced
- Place the cornmeal, water, butter & salt in a big bowl; mix it with your (clean) hands for about 30 seconds or so, until it has essentially taken the form of a paste. Let this rest for 5 minutes. Then knead with your hands for about 1 minute until a ball of dough forms.
- Divide and form into 4 small balls
- Place the balls between 2 sheets of clingfilm/plastic and with a heavy pan or pot cover flatten to a thickness you desire, from 1/4 to 1/2 inch
- To cook in a sauté pan: melt 1/4 tsp of butter in a pan set over medium heat. Place the arepas in the pan, and cook about 2 minutes on each side until they have a golden colour
- Place the oil in a sauce pan. Add the onions, garlic, red bell pepper and cook for about 15 minutes.
- Add the cooked beans, salt, pepper and cumin. Stir and cook for about 5 minutes more. Set aside.
- In a medium skillet, melt your butter & add the diced plantains. Brown the plantains for about 3-5 minutes & set aside.
- Take your sweet potato flesh, pop it into a non reactive bowl, and mash it all up! Then add in your chilli flakes & maple syrup/agave
To assemble the arepas: Place an arepa on a serving plate, spread the sweet potato mixture over most of the arepa, top with the beans, sprinkle the cheese if using, add the plantains & guacamole on top. If not able to get guacamole done in a bind or find in a store, just sprinkle chopped coriander/cilantro liberally on top instead.