Despite the name, these Colombian pancakes don't have any chorizo in them - they use smoked sausage - but they are really tasty and family-friendly.
They required several ingredients from my Colombian-themed Kitchen Trotter box - maize flour, panela (a solid cake of brown sugar), triguisar and crystallised ginger. If you're worried about sourcing those ingredients though, don't panic - you could use ready made maize tortillas as a shortcut and brown sugar would work fine too.
Triguisar, the ubiquitous Colombian spice blend, is a combination of achiote (a spice made from the red seed of the annatto tree - I used the whole seeds in a different recipe here, if you want to see what they look like), cumin, coriander, garlic, oregano, salt and pepper. It isn't spicy at all so I would say that you could substitute cumin.
The maize flour is coarser than regular flour and gives a lovely toasted flavour halfway between tortilla wraps and tortilla chips. I'll definitely be looking out for this in the supermarket because I love the flavour and texture.
Arepas con Chorizo y Guacamole
ingredients (for 4 arepas - serve 1 as a starter or 2 as a main meal with salad) :
for the arepas :
300g white maize flour
1tbsp butter (plus extra for frying)
for the sausages :
1/2 a panela (about 120g)
1tbsp finely diced crystallised ginger
4 sausages (smoked sausages or saucisses de Toulouse work best but any thick sausages or even chorizo would do)
for the guacamole :
2 ripe avocados
1 small onion
1 small tomato
1/2 tsp Cayenne pepper or chilli powder
a squeeze of lemon juice
a pinch of salt
2tbsp mayonnaise (optional)
to serve :
1 tomato, chopped
200g grated cheese
Start by making the arepas. Put the flour, salt and triguisar in a large bowl.
Add the water, bit by bit, and the butter and knead thoroughly until it comes together.
Form into four balls and put to one side.
Put the panela in a saucepan and warm over a gentle heat until it melts - be careful it doesn't burn.
Add the water, triguisar and crystallised ginger.
Throw in the chopped sausages and cook over a low heat for 20 minutes, stirring every now and then, until the sausages are cooked through. Reduce the heat and cook, stirring constantly, until the sauce forms a nice thick syrup.
Make the guacamole by throwing all the ingredients into a blender and whizzing until it forms a smooth consistency. Add the mayonnaise for a creamier, smoother texture.
Flatten out one ball of dough with your hands. (Run your fingers under the tap if it is too dry and cracks.) You need a thickish pancake about the size of a small plate and half a centimetre thick.
Melt a teaspoon of butter in a frying pan and gently fry the arepa for a few minutes on each size. You may be able to flip it over with a fish slice but if it looks like it will break, remove the frying pan from the heat, lay a small plate upside down on top the arepa, flip the whole thing over then carefully slide it off the plate back into the pan.
To serve, garnish each arepa with guacamole and tomato, top with the sausage (spoon on any extra sauce from the pan) and sprinkle with cheese.
The recipe card in the Kitchen Trotter box said tat this was a starter but I served two each with salad as a main meal. The kids had opted for chicken nuggets and wedges because they thought it would be too spicy but they regretted their decision so I'll have to make it again ! If I can't find maize flour, I'll use tortilla wraps and do "Colombian sausage fajitas" instead !
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