Top o’ the morning to ya. Sunday was the first day in a while that I have had no real plans and it felt so glorious, I can’t even tell you. It was also a gorgeous late summer day here in Minneapolis…and in our back yard:
We decided to start the day off by having our friend over for a quick brunch before the boys headed out to watch the football. My boy has had his eye on a recipe for Arepas for a while that he saw on The Minimalist blog.
According to Mark Bittman’s description on The Minimalist, “Originally from Venezuela, so it is said, arepas are perhaps best described as cornmeal-based English muffins.” I think this is a fitting description but it should be noted that since these are fried they are really just like corn cakes.
They were utterly delicious so I thought I’d share the process with you!
1 cup yellow cornmeal, finely ground
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup grated Cheddar or Monterey Jack cheese
1 cup milk
2 tablespoons butter, more for serving, optional
1/2 cup fresh sweet corn kernels, or frozen kernels, thawed
1/4 cup chopped scallion
1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro
1 small serrano or jalapeño chili, seeded and minced, optional
3 tablespoons corn, canola, grapeseed or other neutral oil
Cooked black beans or vegetables or sour cream for stuffing, optional.
1. Put cornmeal in a large bowl with salt and cheese. Put milk in a small saucepan over medium-low heat until steam rises, then add butter and stir until melted. Remove from heat and stir into cornmeal mixture until a thick batter is formed. Fold in the corn kernels, scallion, cilantro and chili if using.
2. Let batter rest until it thickens into a soft dough, about 15 minutes. Gently form 3- to 4-inch balls from mixture and flatten with palm of your hand to a 1/2-inch-thick disk. (You can cover and refrigerate disks for a few hours if you like.)
3. Heat oil in a large skillet and cook arepas, working in batches, until golden brown, about 5 minutes, then flip and cook for another 3 minutes on other side. When all arepas are cooked and cool enough to handle, carefully slice them through the middle. If desired, serve with butter or stuff with beans, vegetables or sour cream.
Yield: 8 to 12 arepas.
I spent the rest of my luxurious Sunday like so: yoga, iced coffee with soy milk, brown sugar and honey (a true summer obsession), hanging with my boy, buying and collecting a new futon for our new place, budgeting and planning upcoming travels.
Basically, a super productive, fun, relaxing and gorgeous day. Loved it! Bring on the rest of the week!
What is your idea of a perfect end of summer Sunday?
Mine would involve sleeping in, eating a long and luxurious breakfast with lots of coffee or tea, going for a bike ride and grilling.