Maryland Breakfast Arepas

I know we’re all prepping for the holidays but I just can’t help getting one more Arepa recipe in! Rewind to January, Santa Marta, Columbia, with the 2018 World ARC…my Arepa inauguration. Breakfasts onboard have never been the same since. I’ve created other breakfast arepas on Galley Pirates, but this Maryland-influenced Arepa is by far my favorite. The creamy yet pungent poblano sauce, with lump blue crab meat folded in, could easily be made en masse and eaten as a cream soup. Try it and you’ll be amazed. It might be a nice starter soup for your Chesapeake Thanksgiving!

My skipper and I took off for the weekend in search of a gunk hole. No real destination in mind…wherever the wind blew us. That’s the magic of the Chesapeake…there are plenty of options for anchorages any time you want them. Sundowners in the cockpit, Arepas for breakfast and a morning paddle was all we really had planned.

Arepas

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2 cups Masarepa
2 cups warm water
1 tablespoon Goya Sazonador
1 pinch sugar
1-2 tablespoons vegetable oil, margarine or butter

Finding Masarepa is the key, but fairly easy if you have a Latino market nearby. Don’t substitute masa harina. Masarepa is precooked, ground corn flour. Masa harina is corn treated with lime before it is ground.

Combine the dry ingredients above and let sit for 5 minutes. Form into balls about about the size of a lemon and flatten to about 1/4-1/2 inch in thickness. Heat a tablespoon of vegetable oil and a tablespoon of butter in a fry pan.

Fry the patties until golden, flip and and fry the other side. Place them on a paper towel lined plate. It’s good to keep them warm if you can but not critical. Now make the Poblano cream sauce.

Crab Poblano Cream Sauce

For a print-friendly recipe see below

2 jalapeños, seeded and chopped
2 large poblano chilis, seeded and chopped
2 shallots, chopped
1 clove of garlic, pressed
4 tablespoons butter
1 tablespoon flour
2 cups Half & Half
1/4 cup shredded Mexican melting cheese (or Monterey Jack)
1 teaspoon salt or to taste
Fresh ground pepper
1/2 cup crab meat

4 eggs

Minced scallions and parsley for garnish.

Place the peppers, shallots and pressed garlic in a food processor and grind into a nice pulp. I use my non-electric hand-cranked grinder for this.

In a 4 quart sauce pan melt the 4 tablespoons of butter. Sauté the pepper-shallot-garlic mixture in the butter until nicely aromatic and just starting to cook, about 2 minutes. Add the flour and continue to cook, stirring constantly with a flat spoon for two more minutes. While still stirring, slowly pour in the Half & Half and continue to stir until thickened.

Add the cheese and stir until melted. Add salt and pepper to taste. (if it is too thick, add more Half & Half)

Fold in the crab meat and set aside while you fry the eggs. This Poblano Crab Sauce on top of the Arepa is so rich and flavorful it can be served without the eggs as a great lunch.

Assemble your breakfasts. Place an Arepa (or two depending how hungry your guests are!) on a plate. Smother with Crab Poblano Cream Sauce. Place a fried egg or two on top and sprinkle with minced parsley and scallions. Serve hot.

Chesapeake Breakfast Arepas

With a sauce that's so yummy you can make it into a spicy Cream of Crab Soup!

Ingredients
Arepas
  • 2 cups Masarepa
  • 2 cups Warm water
  • 1 tbsp Goya Sazonador (or any Latino seasoning salt)
  • 1-2 pinches Sugar
  • 1-2 tbsp Vegetable oil, butter or margine (or a combination of)
Crab Poblano Cream Sauce
  • 2 Jalapeños, seeded and chopped
  • 2 Large fresh poblano chilis, seeded and chopped
  • 2 Shallots, chopped
  • 1 Garlic clove, pressed
  • 4 tbsp Butter
  • 1 tbsp Flour
  • 2 cups Half & Half
  • 1/3 cup shredded Mexican melting cheese, (or shredded Jack)
  • 1 tsp Salt (to taste)
  • Fresh ground pepper
  • 1/2-3/4 cup Crab meat (picked through, cartilage removed
  • 4 Eggs
  • Minced scallions and parsley for garnish
Instructions
Arepas
  1. Combine the dry ingredients above and  let sit for 5 minutes. Form into balls about about the size of a lemon and flatten to about 1/4-1/2 inch in thickness. Heat a tablespoon of vegetable oil and a tablespoon of butter in a fry pan.

  2. Fry the patties until golden, flip and and fry the other side. Place them on a paper towel lined plate. It's good to keep them warm if you can but not critical. Now make the Poblano cream sauce.

Crab Poblano Cream Sauce
  1. Place the peppers, shallots and pressed garlic in a food processor and grind into a nice pulp. I use my non-electric hand-cranked grinder for this.

  2. In a 4 quart sauce pan melt the 4 tablespoons of butter. Sauté the pepper-shallot-garlic mixture in the butter until nicely aromatic and just starting to cook, about 2 minutes. Add the flour and continue to cook, stirring constantly with a flat spoon for two more minutes. While still stirring, slowly pour in the Half & Half and continue to stir until thickened.

  3. Add the cheese and stir until melted. Add salt and pepper to taste. (if it is too thick, add more Half & Half)

  4. Fold in the crab meat and set aside while you fry the eggs. This Poblano Crab Sauce on top of the Arepa is so rich and flavorful it can be served without the eggs as a great lunch.

  5. Assemble the breakfast. Place an egg (or two depending how hungry your guests are!) on a plate. Smother with Crab Poblano Cream Sauce. Place a fried egg or two on top and sprinkle with minced parsley and scallions. Serve hot.

Galley Cooking Recommendations

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