Whenever I make a recipe, I always find myself asking how can I freeze it, change up the leftovers or make it into a double duty meal. Side Note: I CANNOT stand leftovers. If I can’t morph it into a different dish, I will be the first to toss it out. Don’t gawk at me…I can’t help it, it grosses me out.
This particular recipe is a double duty dish and luckily for you is very cost effective and simple to make. This was inspired by my Malta Braised Pork and my goodness…this flavor profile really hits the spot.
Don’t be alarmed by the pickled onions. I personally feel it elevates the dish and they are super easy to make. You can prep them in the morning and have it ready by the time you get home. All you have to do is assemble the actual arepas (because if you made my Malta pork already, it’s one less thing for you to do, HA!), add some cheese, cilantro and dinner is done. Sometimes we throw some french fries in the oven to go along with it.
It’s salty, sweet, acidic, creamy, crunchy…I mean I can’t tell you how deliciously comforting this is for a weeknight meal. You will just have to try it.
- 1 ½ cups Arepa mix
- 1 ½ cups water, plus 1-2 tablespoons
- 1 teaspoon of vegetable oil
- 2 teaspoons of butter
- 1 1/2 cups of Malta braised pork
- 1 cup of shredded Monterey jack cheese
- Pickled Onions-
- 1 medium red onion
- 1 cup of warm water
- 1/2 cup of apple cider vinegar
- 2 teaspoons of salt
- 2 teaspoons of sugar
- 1/2 teaspoon of dry oregano
- Combine all ingredients for pickled onions in a medium bowl and marinate for at least 30 minutes (overnight would be great, too!).
- Adjust oven rack to middle position and preheat oven to 325°F. Combine arepa mix, 1 cup water, and 1 teaspoon vegetable oil in a medium bowl and knead with hands until a dough is formed. If the edges crack, knead in more water a tablespoon at a time until dough is supple and smooth but not sticky. Season dough to taste with salt, then cover and set aside for five minutes.
- Divide dough into four even pieces and roll into balls. Working on a wooden cutting board or a regular cutting board with a sheet of plastic wrap or parchment paper on top of it, flatten each ball down to a disk about 4-inches in diameter and 1/2-inch thick.
- Melt butter in a 12-inch cast iron or non-stick skillet over medium-low heat. Add arepas and cook, moving them around the pan and rotating them occasionally, until first side is charred in spots and a dry crust has formed, about five minutes. Flip arepas and cook on second side until a dry crust has formed, about five minutes longer. Transfer to a baking sheet and bake until cooked through, about 10 minutes longer.
- Remove from oven, let rest 5 minutes, split, and fill with pork, shredded cheese, cilantro and pickled onions.
- Pickled onions can keep in the fridge for up to 3 weeks if kept in a sealed container. Try it in your next panini or even a cucumber salad with feta!
Just look at it! What’s not to like?
It’s like a pocketful of heaven…well, close enough at least.