Ripe Plantain Arepas: The Latin Kitchen Series

corn-457153_1280Arepas de Plátano Maduro

The arepa is one of the most popular foods in Colombia and Venezuela. It is probably equivalent to the English muffin or the scone but with a Latin flavor profile.

This is a breakfast food, with a flavor like a banana biscuit with savory to balance the sweetness.  It can also be served as a side dish for meat or poultry.

The arepa is made from ripe plantains. It is also made with masarepa, or corn flour. (available at specialty markets or from Amazon).

The arepa is served with grated mozzarella or queso blanco, now widely available in American supermarkets.  Queso blanco gives the dish an authentic flavor.  With the cheese topping, the arepa has a good protein component, a balanced dish for the dysphagia kitchen.

I recently did a dessert tasting at the New York charity, God’s Love We Deliver. I featured the maduro snack shake from the Cuban kitchen. It was such a hit that I decided to post another maduro recipe.

The arepa is popular at the best Cuban bakery on Lincoln Road in South Beach, for locals, familiar with specialties from the Latin kitchen, and tourists from all over the world. I know this because South Beach is one of my old stomping grounds. You buy it at the counter, and it comes wrapped in tissue. You have it with coffee.

The arepa with cheese is very easy to puree. The flavor carries through and offers variety in the breakfast menu for those with swallowing difficulties.  It also makes a great afternoon snack with a thickened coffee drink.

When you click through to the recipe, you will find that it is available in Spanish.

For the Puree

When cooking for the person with swallowing difficulties, only cook the arepas to a golden brown. Do not caramelize the arepa to a dark brown, as the pieces of caramelized arepa will create particles in the puree. The image in the recipe shows a very dark brown. Please do not imitate the photo.

Simply break up two of the arepas in the mini food processor, add a little milk or water, pulse a few times to break it up, and puree until smooth. Add several tablespoons of cheese, and puree to incorporate. Serve warm.

Muy Sabroso! Swirl Away!


Featured photo credit:  canliga via Pixabay, cc