You shouldn’t judge something by looks alone.
Isn’t that what they always say?
Well, I incorrectly judged the photo on this Blue Apron recipe card before I even started cooking. Mistake. Queso de Freir Arepas are incredibly delicious! WHO KNEW? Millions of Venezuelans and Colombians apparently, because Arepas are a staple of those cultures. Que sabroso en mi tummy-oso.
I was cooking for one last night since the parenting partner took the oldest children on an overnight campout. I stayed behind with Senor El Bebe. What does one do when preparing a meal meant for four people? Do I make only two and discard the rest? Cook the whole recipe and pray I don’t fall temptation to devouring everything? That would throw the whole weight loss this month right out the window. I ended up following the instructions and went ahead and cooked it all, no sense in letting things go to waste. One of Blue Apron’s main selling points: No unnecessary ingredients and no waste.
Somehow I must have gotten mixed up when cooking the other recipe that came with this box (one I didn’t blog about) and used the red onion meant to pickle for the Arepas. Oops? There was a solitary yellow onion hanging out in my fridge so we had to substitute. I don’t think that substitution terribly affected the outcome of this dinner.
The onion was pickled in red wine vinegar, sugar, 1/2 cup of water and a pinch of salt. It was used to top the Arepas and the remaining onion and vinegar went into the salad. Next, it was time to assemble the Arepas themselves. It was difficult to tell from the photo what kind of texture these would turn out to have. Would they be crisp like a bruschetta? Soft like a cookie? The best way to describe the texture is to say they tasted like deep-fried corn pita bread. Crispy on the outside, slightly doughy on the inside. The dough itself was moldable and easy to work with. This was like nothing I’d ever tasted before and I really liked them. 10 points to Blue Apron for once again bringing me out of my culinary comfort zone!
Now for the cheese….
Way back when, I experienced some difficulty with a Blue Apron cheese recipe. In fact, it’s fair to say that was the biggest dinner disaster to date. So I was a tad bit nervous opening this week’s Blue Apron box to discover a cheese entrée. Two big differences between the queso de freir and the farmer’s cheese, however. First, QDF is a semi-hard cheese which maintains its structure upon cooking whereas the farmer’s cheese instantly crumbled. I also remembered to cut the cheese the right way this time. LOL…cutting the cheese the right way…
This dinner does not LOOK appetizing. At all! But the combination of savory flavors, the saltiness of the cheese blended with the tartness of the onion and the smokiness of the paprika, was like…perfection. It’s late in the game, but this one made the Top 10, perhaps even the Top 5. Even the salad was good! Arugula…Cucumber…AVOCADO?! Hell yes!
Maybe it was because I was by myself and was able to focus on the cooking process without background distractions. Maybe it was because I had low expectations. Arepas are pure fried goodness. I can highly recommend this recipe.