Wednesday, September 11, 2013

Tempeh and Avocado Arepas- MoFo Post 9

Post #9 for Vegan MoFo 2013.

I have several friends who are from Colombia and have been fortunate enough to experience some of their cooking recently.  They have invited me into their home have shared authentic dishes like coconut rice, patacones, and guacamole with me. One of them celebrated a birthday recently and I was invited to enjoy a breakfast meal that included arepes, which is a Colombian corn cake.  The person who hosted the breakfast is not Colombian, but purchased the arepes from a Hispanic grocery store in the area. 

The morning included arepas, tofu, potatoes, lattes, pineapple and two delicious birthday pies. I was the first of the group to arrive, which for those of you who know me is not surprising, and I was put to work to help warm the arepas. After being given instructions, one of my native Columbian friends arrived and I was quickly pushed away for her to take over. What a relief! I had never seen an arepa before, so I had no clue how to cook them!
The final and delicious product!

This birthday breakfast was perfect timing as I had already planned to make arepas for MoFo as I had heard my friends speak about them so fondly. The arepas purchased from the store were a bit thinner than the recipes that I had seen online, but they were still delicious! I was now excited to make the recipe that I had set aside from a recent issue of Veg News for Grilled Tempeh & Avocado Arepas. I do not personally subscribe to the magazine, but get old copies from a friend who subscribes. 
Hand formed arepas ready for the iron skillet

  I had spoken of my arepas MoFo plan to another friend, who kindly purchased a bag of masarepa for me as a thank you for watching her friendly companion dog. Once I had my masarepa flour in hand, I was all set to cook! The dough for the arepa was simple. It contained the flour, salt, and water. It only took minutes to create, was formed into balls, flattened, and cooked. The cooking started off in a cast iron skillet on the stove and ended in a baking sheet in the oven. The recipe for the filling was a cubed tempeh that was simmered on the stove in a rich and smokey broth. I could not believe how easy this recipe was and our home smelled delicious! 

Arepas browning in the skillet before going into the oven
The last step was assembly. The arepes were cut almost in half, to create a pocket for the filling. In addition to the tempeh, there was sliced avocado, tomato, and a sprinkling of vegan cheese. We enjoyed the arepas while they were still warm and the cheese had a chance to melt.  I had a feeling that the end result was going to be flavorful and I was right! It went beyond my expectations! The arepa pocket held up well to the filling. The masarepa flour seemed to be ground more than masa flour and therefore the arepa was not so grainy, but had more of a smoother, dense dough. The tempeh was filled with mild and flavorful spice. The heat level was mild and to remedy that we added some habanero hot sauce.

Smokey Tempeh Filling
As I was putting together the arepa recipe, it had me thinking of other MoFo ideas that I could create using this flour. I have used polenta and cornmeal in previous recipes, but had never heard of masarepa before researching arepas in preparation for this dinner. Now that I have used the masarepa flour, I can see how it differs from corn based flours. This dinner has been the most successful creation for MoFo 2013. I have truly enjoyed all of the recipes that I have shared, but this was completely new to me. I was not sure if I was going to post about a failure in the kitchen. Instead, I am left wanting to make this a regular dinner dish for us. 

What has been your biggest cooking/creation success recently? 


Dawn said...

Arepas! Welcome to the club. I suspect before long, you'll be making them every chance you get and filling them with everything. (I cut them all the way open and use them as burger buns sometimes).
I think my biggest kitchen success lately was the pumpkin roll I posted on Monday. But, my favorite was probably the chickpea salad "tuna" melt that I fashioned based on a wrap I had while on vacation.

Unknown said...

Excellent! YUM!
I posted today as well! It's also a World Food! Check it out when you have time :)

Kendy P said...

that looks really good! i like spicy food in pouches!

Kylie - FotV said...

I have never heard of arepas before, they look fantastic!!!

GiGi said...

Wowza tempeh avo Latin food, just got some drool spit in the corner of my mouth.