Okay okay…. so this is virtually the same post as the chicken arepas with avocado and aji. But you know what? We had 2 vegetarians with us for Global Feasts: Colombia. So, naturally, we needed a vegetarian version of the chicken arepas. ALACAZAM! I give you……. black bean arepas with mango and aji. Golden fried arepas topped with spiced black beans, pickled red onion, mango, cotija cheese, avocado, and aji sauce.
Once again, this recipe is inspired by The Latin Kitchen‘s arepas con pollo adobado by Melissa Guerra. I used the same technique for the arepas, and the same spices used for the chicken for jazzing up the black beans. Thanks again for letting me use your recipe Melissa!
Dudes…… this was my FAVORITE dish from Global Feasts: Colombia! I actually preferred it to the chicken version. The fried arepa with ricotta, the spices with the beans, the kick from the onions, the nutty avocado, the bright fresh fruit, and the creamy salty cheese. Mmmmmmmmm…….
haha. Is that a thing that people still say? Do I sound like an old fogey trying to be cool? Oh boy…….
- FOR THE PICKLED ONION
- 1 cup apple cider vinegar
- 2 cups white vinegar
- 1 Tablespoon sugar
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1 red onion thinly sliced
- FOR THE AJI
- 1 bunch fresh cilantro
- 2 habaneros stems removed
- The juice of 2 limes
- cup ½ sliced green onion
- cup ½ water
- salt and pepper
- FOR THE BEANS
- 1 Tablespoon avocado or olive oil
- ½ yellow onion diced
- 1 15 oz can black beans drained and rinsed
- 1 clove garlic minced
- 2 teaspoons paprika
- 1 teaspoon ground turmeric
- 1 teaspoon dried oregano
- salt and pepper
- FOR THE AREPAS
- 2 cups Harina PAN or masarepa
- 2 cups warm water
- cup ½ ricotta cheese
- vegetable oil for frying
- THE TOPPINGS
- 2 mangos peeled and diced
- 2 slices avocados cut into
- cotija cheese or queso fresco crumbled
FOR THE PICKLED ONION Stir together vinegars, sugar, and salt in a medium bowl. Add onion and give a good stir. Let sit for 2 hours, stirring every 30 minutes
FOR THE AJI Meanwhile, combine cilantro (with stems), habaneros (with seeds), lime juice, green onion, and water in a blender. Blend until smooth. Season with salt and pepper. Let rest for at least 2 hours, stirring once.
FOR THE BEANS When pickled onions and aji are almost ready, heat the oil in a cast iron skillet over medium heat. Add yellow onion and cook until translucent, about 5 minutes. Add garlic and stir to combine. Add paprika, turmeric, and oregano and cook one minute to toast spices. Stir in beans and cook until heated, about 3 minutes. Season with salt and pepper.
FOR THE AREPAS Mix together Harina PAN, water, and ricotta cheese in a large bowl with your hands until well combined. Knead a bit to form a cohesive dough. Divide dough into 8 equal portions and pat into ¾" thick round cakes.
Fill a skillet ⅛" high with vegetable oil. Heat oil until very hot. 4 at a time, fry arepas in oil and cook about 5 minutes on each side, or until golden brown and crisp on both sides. Set aside and keep warm in a clean towel.
PUT IT ALL TOGETHER Place 2 arepas on each of 4 plates. Top with beans, pickled onion, avocado, cotija, mango, and drizzle with aji.
Alright…… only one more Colombian post. THE COFFEE! Get yourself some panela and some Colombian coffee guys!