Arepas with Pink Pickled Onions

Arepas with Pink Pickled Onions

We’ve taken these traditional corn pancakes and given them a more complex flavor with the addition of sour cream and a piquant pickled onion relish. The onions’ wonderful rose-pink color against the golden-brown arepas makes for a gorgeous presentation.

Ingredients Directions

For the pickled onions

2 medium red onions, finely chopped
1/2 cup cider vinegar
1/2 teaspoon salt
4 teaspoons sugar

For the arepas

1 cup milk
5 tablespoons butter
1 cup frozen corn kernels
1 cup white arepa flour* 
1 cup shredded mozzarella
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon sugar
2 tablespoons canola oil
sour cream, for topping

*This is also called white cornmeal. One widely available brand is Goya.

Prepare the pickled onions

Put the onions in a small saucepan and add enough cold water to just cover them. Bring water to a boil and simmer 1 minute. Drain the onions in a colander and return them to the pan with the vinegar, salt, sugar, and enough cold water to just cover them. Bring liquid to a boil and simmer 5 minutes, stirring until the liquid evaporates (add a little more water if the liquid evaporates before the 5 minutes are up). Remove pan from heat.

Prepare the arepas

In a small saucepan, bring the milk to a boil. Add the butter and stir until it is melted. Remove the mixture from the heat and set aside.

In a food processor, roughly grind the frozen corn kernels. In a large bowl, combine the corn, flour, salt, sugar, and mozzarella. Make a well in the middle of the flour mixture and gradually add the hot milk mixture, stirring to combine thoroughly. Gradually add 1/2 cup water, one tablespoon at a time, until the mixture has the consistency of thick pancake batter. (Use more water if necessary.)

Heat the canola oil in a skillet over low heat. Working in batches, spoon the arepas individually into the skillet, using a scant tablespoon of batter for each arepa. Each pancake should be about 2 inches across. Cook until golden brown and cooked through, about 5 minutes on each side. As you work, the batter will continue to thicken. Add water a tablespoon at a time to the arepa mixture as needed to maintain pancake batter consistency.

Top each arepa with a swipe of sour cream and a dollop of pink pickled onions and arrange them on a tray or, if you’re short on time, put out the sour cream and onions in separate bowls and let guests top the arepas themselves.

Makes 50 arepas and 1 1/2 cups of pickled onions.

LOW EFFORT If you don’t have time to make the onions, simply serve the arepas with sour cream and prepared pickle relish.

Make-Ahead Factor

The pickled onions can be made 1 week ahead and kept covered and refrigerated. The arepa dough can be made 1 day ahead and kept covered and refrigerated. You’ll need to add a little water to get it back to pancake batter consistency. The arepas can be made the morning of the party and kept tightly covered but not refrigerated. Warm them in a 400°F oven for 5 to 7 minutes.

From Cocktail Parties, Straight Up! Easy Hors D'oeuvres, Delicious Drinks and Inspired Ideas for Entertaining with Style by Lauren and Anne Purcell.