Monday, April 29, 2013

Arepas with Black Beans and Corn & Avocado Salsa

I have been dying to make something with avocado ever since I got Gaby Dalkin's amazing cookbook, Absolutely Avocados, in the mail.  Tons of bloggers have been posting recipes from her book in honor of its release, and after I saw Recipe Girl's photos of Gaby's Bacon, Avocado, and Corn Salad, I was determined to make that.

However, due to a bout of laziness, I was only able to make it to the small Vietnamese store down the street.  No bacon, no cheese, no fresh corn.  I was forced to re-imagine my dinner plans.

In my opinion, anything with avocado and corn is pretty fabulous, even if the corn is frozen.  But, the two together don't really quite make up a meal.  I picked up a can of black beans, imagining tacos with a corn and avocado salsa.  Alas, no tortillas.  However, I did stumble across a section chock full of tortilla ingredients.  A bag of creamy yellow masarepa caught my eye, and guess what?  It had a super easy recipe for arepas right on the back.

If you've never had arepas, you need to try them!  They are a lot like pupusas, and super easy to make.  If you live in Boston, you can choose from all kinds of delicious, cheese-stuffed arepas at Orinoco.  Either way, you should definitely try this recipe.

Serves 3-4 as a main course or 8 as a first course.

Ingredients for the corn and avocado salsa:

1 tablespoon butter or olive oil
1 1/2 cups frozen corn
4 scallions, sliced
1 tablespoon chopped fresh cilantro
Juice of one lime
1 ripe avocado, peeled and small diced
Salt and pepper to taste

Heat the butter or olive oil in a skillet over medium heat.  Add the corn and season with salt and pepper.  Cook for about five minutes, until the corn is tender.  Remove from heat.

After the corn cools a bit, combine with the rest of the ingredients and add more salt, pepper, and lime juice as needed.

Ingredients for the black beans (adapted from the back of the Goya can I used):

2 tablespoons olive oil
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 15 ounce can low-sodium black beans 
3/4 cup water
1 teaspoon dried oregano
1 packet Sazón Adobo seasoning
1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar
Pinch of sugar (optional)
Salt to taste

Heat the olive oil over medium heat, and saute the garlic until fragrant and lightly browned.  Add the beans, water, seasoning, and vinegar.  Bring to a boil, and then simmer for ten minutes.  Taste for seasoning, adding sugar and/or salt as desired (I used a bit of both).

Ingredients for the arepas (from the back of the Goya bag):

2 cups precooked masarepa (fine yellow cornmeal)
1 teaspoon salt
3 cups warm water
Butter or olive oil for cooking

Mix together the masarepa, water, and salt, and let it sit for five minutes.  Heat the butter or olive oil in a heavy skillet over medium high heat.  Use your hands to form patties that are about 4 inches wide and half an inch thick.  Make sure the skillet is very hot before you add the arepas.  Cook until browned and crisped on both sides, 10-15 minutes total.  I recommend letting the arepas sit for the first five minutes without moving them, because at first they are vulnerable to falling apart.

The recipe said you can mix in some shredded cheese right before forming the patties, so I might have to try that next time.  Let me know if you give that version a whirl!

Serve the arepas topped with beans and salsa, with a wedge of lime for squeezing on top.

This is a perfect recipe for Cinco de Mayo!  Do you have plans to cook anything else fabulous for the big day?



  1. Yum these looks delicious! Perfect for a light lunch :)

  2. Fabulous recipe. I just saw them on Facebook at Citronlimette's party. Love the uniqueness. Pinned.

    1. Thanks, Christie! Hope you try them! :)

  3. Did you drain the black beans before sautéing them?

    1. Nope, I just poured the whole can in there!

    2. I'm sure it would also work if you drained them, though.


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