If there is one thing I absolutely love about the dutch supermarket, it that whenever I am tired they will always have the most amazing ready to eat meals,just heat them up in the microwave, and there you go. Ready to go salads, ready to go desserts, ready to go everything! Maybe it is because people here do not have much time to cook... who know's!
Other international students and I have also noticed a lot of kitchens in here do not have an oven, maybe that is also because people do not have a lot of time to cook.
Back where I was born, a city named Concepción (yes! it was hit by a massive 8.8 earthquake in 2010), which is about 600 km to the South of Santiago (Chile's capital city) things were much different when I was little, and in a certain way I think they still are. Of course we also have ready to go food, we are not so underdeveloped! hahaha Concepción is just a city, like any other, it has about 375.000 inhabitants in the city center (if u wanna know more please check the wikipedia site http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Concepci%C3%B3n,_Chile). Concepción is also sorrounded by farms (less than an hour trip by car, and nice beaches, also about 20-25 minutes car drive), but before I lose focus of want I wanted to write in the begining, the idea is things are done a little bit different there, a little bit in a way that europeans might find maybe old fashioned, and I am reffering to cooking of course! What else!? is my favorite topic right?
So, how the hell did I ended up writting about this? I ended up writting about this because today at my Energy Policy in the EU class, our teacher mentioned that wood is still used for energy, and of course, half of my class (europeans) asked... who uses wood as a source of energy still?! .. the answer is, well, we do. We use it to cook in some places (probably not in the cities, but in some farms, and to bbq, we still do, it is not very enviromentaly friendly, but it taste SO GOOD!)
Another thing we do, it tosting the bread in a thing that is called toaster, just like the ones you know:
But ours looks like this!!!:
hahahahha!! I know you must be wondering, why the hell we use STILL use them! bread and everything you heat up in them taste nice! Unfortunately, it is impossible to find any of these here in Holland, I was well aware of that, but I did not bring mine =( (very sad face)
But I won't be defeated by the fact I do not have my chilean/latinamericanversion of a Tostador! (I am thinking of making one of my own, but for now the toaster oven will have to do).
So in order to win my fight against the toaster, and because I always like to cook different stuff, I thought about cooking something not Chilean this time, but Colombian. If I were to cook this in Colombia, I would need my TOSTADOR! but well, adapting to adverse conditions is a good skill.
Today's dish is called Arepa con Hogao (it looks like a thicker version of a Mexican tortilla with a nice tomato and onion sauce on top). I fell in love with them when I spend a month in Bogotá with the Murillo family, some amazing people that tought me to love that country and their food, and who of course tought me how to make arepas.
So here we go!
The good thing about arepas, is that they are so easy to make, its hard that it ever goes wrong, and they always make you happy. Everyone makes them in a different way, this is my way.
You'll need: Water, Butter, milk, cheese, corn meal (it is gluten free, so perfect! even my flatmate Dek, who cannot tolerate gluten can try them, yes Dek I did save you a piece), garlic, onion, tomatoes, pepper, salt, oil...that's it!
Step 1: Boil the water, heat up the milk (like half a cup of milk is more than enough), put the flour in a bowl, and then add the water and the milk, stir it with a fork for a while, cuz it's gonna be TOO hot for your hands in the begining, after it get a little bit colder its time for hands in the dough! also add some butter and salt, knead until the dough looks sth like this ( I also always grind the cheese and put it in the dough, but if u think there is enough fat there already.. well don't, but is so niceeee):
Step 3: Get that arepa done! So because there is no Tostador, I just used a pan, and it worked. You need to get hold of that dough and turn it into a tortilla shape, but thicker about 0.5 - 1 cm thick. Then put the pan in the fire and put the arepa in it (do not add oil, so make sure u have a pan with enough teflon so that it does not get stuck in there, although it should not cuz the though already has butter and cheese.. enough oil). By now it should look like this:
And now off me go to the gym! hahahaha
Hope you will enjoy this one guys, Jamie Oliver watch out cuz here I come!