Arepas de Puerco

Source: Chef Richard Sandoval, Zengo, Washington, D.C. Avocados from Mexico
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Main Ingredient: Pork
Menu Part: Appetizer
Cuisine Type: Mexican
Serves: 4

Although a traditional dish in South America, these arepas show a Nuevo Latino accent with their fusion of Asian and Latin flavors.

Ingredients

1 1/2 lb. pork butt
1 small yellow onion, chopped
1 bunch cilantro
1/2 cup hoisin sauce
1/4 cup white vinegar
3 chilies de arbol
3 tbsp. achiote pepper paste
2 tbsp. ichimi togarashi (Japanese red pepper flakes)
2 tsp. salt
1/2 cup sour cream
2 jalapenos, seeded and sliced
Sesame seeds, for garnish

Arepas (recipe follows)
1/2 cup lukewarm water
2 tsp. salt
1/2 cup masarepa (yellow corn meal)

Guacamole (recipe follows)
3 small, ripe hass avocados
1/4 cup diced tomato
2 tbsp. finely chopped onion
2 tbsp. finely chopped cilantro
2 serrano chilies, seeded, deveined and diced
1 tsp. lime juice
1/8 tsp. salt

 

Steps

  1. Cut pork butt into smaller, uniform pieces to ensure equal cooking time. In a large pot, combine pork, onion, cilantro, hoisin, vinegar, chilies, achiote, togarashi and salt with enough water to cover the pork, making sure achiote and hoisin are completely dissolved. Bring to a boil; reduce heat to low, cover and simmer until fork-tender, about 3 hr.
  2. Remove pork from liquid and set aside to cool. When cool, pull pork with fingers. Strain liquid and return to cover pork, adjust seasoning. Set pork aside and keep warm.
  3. Meanwhile, prepare Arepas and Guacamole (below).
  4. For service, cut two of the arepas in half sideways and arrange on a small plate. Layer each half with small amount of pork, followed by 1 tsp. guacamole, 1/2 tsp. sour cream and a slice of jalapeno. Garnish with sesame seeds. Repeat with remaining arepas.

Guacamole

  1. In bowl, scoop out and mash avocados. Add remaining ingredients; mix well. Adjust seasoning as needed.

Arepas

  1. In bowl, combine water and salt. Slowly mix in masarepa until absorbed. (It should have a firm consistency.
  2. Divide dough into 8 equal balls. Roll each in palms of hands to form a smooth ball; press into a disc, about 11/2-in. thick.
  3. Cook disks in nonstick pan over low heat until lightly browned on each side, about 2 min.