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Brand Culture Recipes

This Recipe Will Have Homemade Arepas On Your Table In an Hour

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In rather fitting fashion for this cultural melting pot of a recipe, the first time I ate an arepa I was neither in its home, South America, or my home, the U.S., where it’s a regional specialty in places like Miami, FL.

I was in Spain, led by the casual suggestion of a hostel employee who must have thought it’d be funny to send the American to a Venezuelan spot when asked what Spanish restaurants were good in the area (which, hey, it definitely is). Regardless, those golden brown corn cakes, sliced open and brimming with an array of meats, fish, sauces, and cheeses, were a fond highlight of the trip. So, the moment I caught wind of this recipe that could be made in the comfort of my own home, and used the ever convenient Bumble Bee® Tuna as it’s unique star, I knew it was time to give it a go.

Arepas are traditionally made with masarepa, a corn product that’s produced by soaking dried corn, separating their outer lining and seed germ, and then cooking and grounding what’s left over. Thankfully, masarepa can be bought at most Latin markets. Look for P.A.N. Harina De Maiz, it’s widely regarded as the chef’s choice.

To start, mix about two cups of the cornmeal with two and a half cups of warm water and a tablespoon of salt. Knead this into a soft dough, and allow it to rest for five minutes. During this time, heat a cup of vegetable oil in a skillet over medium high heat, and preheat the oven to 350.

Once the dough has sat, split it into four portions, and form them into balls before flattening them into thick, even disks. Then, when the skillet is up to ideal heat, fry each disk until lightly browned on each side. After that, leave them in the oven to keep warm.

Now, bring another skillet to medium-high heat, after adding a teaspoon of vegetable oil (or use the arepa skillet with most of the oil drained, who am I to judge?). Drain, then add, the can of corn and cook for about five minutes or until browned. Next, toss in two pouches of Bumble Bee® Cracked Pepper and Sea Salt Tuna and cook until hot.

Alright. Preparation done.

It’s time for assembly.

Take the warm arepas and slice them width-wise. Place a slice of American cheese and a scoop of the tuna-corn combo on the bottom bun, and then bring the queso into the mix with a healthy sprinkle of cotija cheese. Finally, top with some cilantro and there it is — a delicious arepa in the comfort of your own home.

As with any recipe, feel free to spice this up with additional ingredients. Avocado, mayo-based spreads, and beans are all traditional arepas fillings. But, really, the beauty of the arepa lies in its flexibility.

And if that beauty can be made in under an hour? Count me in.

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#foodbeast Celebrity Grub Fast Food FOODBEAST Hit-Or-Miss Plant-Based Restaurants SPONSORED

Matthew McConaughey Just Won A Celebrity Burger Showdown, Here’s What He Made

May 28 was a big day for burger lovers.

In celebration of National Burger Day, Off the Menu, the LA-based food discovery app, teamed up with Uber Eats to host The Burger Showdown. The challenge paired more than 60 celebrities including Matthew McConaughey, Paris Hilton, and Dwyane Wade with restaurants in 10 cities to create their ultimate burger, available exclusively on Uber Eats. Even better, the Showdown supported Frontline Foods, a grassroots organization that supports local restaurants while feeding frontline workers and impacted communities..

Each pairing created a video sharing their burger inspiration and recipe, which lived on theburgershowdown.com for fans and burger lovers to watch and vote on their favorite before ordering on Uber Eats from May 28-31. 

And, the winners are in: 

Best Burger (US):

The Best Burger in the US was awarded to The Jacobite, made by Scottish actor Sam Heughan and Boston’s The Haven. It’s made with a chuck beef patty smothered in bacon-infused marmalade, pickle sauce, arugula, tomatoes, Huntsman cheese, deep fried onions, and a hand-cut french fry wedge served on a milk bun to create a deviously rich burger. 

Best Burger (Canada):

Photo Courtesy of Off The Menu

The Best Canadian Burger was won by the Toronto Maple Leafs’ Mitch Marner and The Burger’s Priest. The Mitch One-Six Burger kept it simple, with a smashed patty, cheddar cheese, thick cuts of bacon, lettuce, tomato, ketchup, the famed High Priest Sauce, and a classic, soft house bun. Simple, to the point, and dependable. 

Most Creative Collaboration:

Photo Courtesy of Off The Menu

The winners of the Most Creative Collaboration, Shay Mitchell and NYC’s Flip Sigi, created the Filipino-inspired Shay Sigi Burger, which featured a three-meat burger that bonded longanisa, ground beef, and bacon. Seared on a hot pan, the amalgamation of a patty was topped with pickled onions, tomato, lettuce, a homemade banana ketchup, and a pan de sal bun.

Best Plant-Based Burger:

Photo Courtesy of Off The Menu

Max Greenfield and Chicago’s Busy Burger’s collab, the Busy Max Veggie Delight, won the Best Plant-Based Burger presented by Lightlife. Here’s the juicy deets: Two Lightlife Plant-Based Burgers topped with pepper jack cheese and cut with guacamole and sauteed veggies, were topped with butter leaf lettuce, tomato, pickles, and Busy Burger’s signature Busy Sauce. 

The Burger Showdown Hall of Fame:

Photo Courtesy of Off The Menu

Rounding out the awards by being inducted into The Burger Showdown Hall of Fame is Matthew McConaughey and Aaron Franklin of Austin’s Loro, who created a burger for those who hate when their patty slides out the back (or “slidie-out-backie,” as deemed by Mr. McConaughey) when bitten. Dubbed the “And…” burger, it is made with a brisket and chuck patty and brioche buns, then stacked with double-cut smoked bacon, American cheese, pickled jalapeños, butter leaf lettuce, thin-sliced tomato, mustard, and a jalapeño aioli.

The Burger Showdown was truly something to behold this year. Make sure to peep the builds of all the burgers mentioned, and more here.

Keep an eye on @offthemenu and @ubereats to see what they’re cooking up for their next tasty event, The Wing Showdown.

Created in partnership with Off The Menu.

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Deals Health News Packaged Food Plant-Based What's New

Beyond Meat’s Burger Patty Priced The Lowest It’s Ever Been: $1.60

As meat prices soar, plant-based patty producer Beyond Meat is making an attempt to appeal to the masses.

The company will be releasing its Cookout Classic 10-pack, a value of their well-known plant-based burgers, which will be for sale in most Targets and Walmarts nationwide for $15.99.

“The new offering will be available through mid-August, or until supplies last, and is intended to narrow the price gap between plant-based meat and animal protein, making delicious, nutritious and sustainable plant-based meat more accessible to more people,” said the company in a statement via email. 

The release comes at a time when meat prices are the highest they’ve been since 1974, which the brand hopes will leave typical meat-eating consumers a bit more open to trying plant-based burgers. 

“This forward-looking pricing represents an important milestone along our journey to make Beyond Meat more accessible to all consumers,” said CEO Ethan Brown.

According to CNN, a secondary, less consumer centric reason is that the company has an excess amount of the patties, which were destined for restaurants pre-COVID, and hopes to get rid of the stock.

This plan is only a part of the company’s ever-expanding reach, as they’ve recently inked a deal with Yum Brand’s (KFC, Pizza Hut, Taco Bell) Chinese storefronts and tested burgers in McDonald’s Canada. A direct-to-consumer website will be released this summer, as well. 

Hounded by restaurant shutdowns or not, Beyond Meat appears to be chugging along and trying to turn a negative situation into an opportunity for expansion. 

Whatever the reason the Cookout Classic pack exists, for consumers or for the brand, it does. And, it’ll soon be available at a store near most people. For fans of the product, any sign of the company’s (understandably) premium-priced burgers getting a price slash is a good signal of things to come . 

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#foodbeast FOODBEAST Grocery Packaged Food SPONSORED

Make Pho In Under 3 Minutes With These Game-Changing Instant Noodle Bowls

Instant noodles aren’t normally seen as a delicacy, but be prepared to have that notion flipped. Malleable yet texturally distinctive, they can be found in most pantries, regardless of cultural background. But sometimes the average batch of instant noodles doesn’t quite satisfy the craving for that big bowl of pho, ramen, or whatever noodle soup floats your boat. It’s this spot that Snapdragon Foods aims to hit. 

Snapdragon’s noodles, highlighted in our newest News Bites video, look to provide an authentic experience with some of the world’s favorite noodle soup dishes, but in an accessible, take home package.

That means that their Vietnamese beef pho bowls come with real rice noodles and authentic spices. My personal favorite, the Singapore-style Laksa Curry Bowls, includes not only rice noodles and a spice mixture, but also coconut powder and chili oil that give the dish far more depth than what’s expected from a bowl of instant noodles.

Their other soup flavors include Veggie, Mushroom, and Garlic. Some are in bowl, some are in packets, and all are delicious and can be found on their website. Oh, and don’t forget the newly launched ramens, either.

All of their products are inspired by the streets and kitchens of Asia. They take special pride in their noodle quality, already giving the brand a step up on many instant noodle makers. Their noodles are made in Vietnam, and whether made for pho or ramen, have a delicateness to them, yet also hold a chewy bounce and remain highly slurpable. 

Snapdragon’s noodle soups can be found at retailers across the country, although the deepest and most consistent stock of all noodle flavors is housed on the brand’s website. While you’re there, use the code BEAST15 for 15% off your purchase! 

Make sure to peep Snapdragon’s Instagram for noodle inspo once you get a pack in hand, then top them with your favorite toppings, and tag us and Snapdragon to show us your creations.

Created in partnership with Snapdragon Foods.

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Hit-Or-Miss

Street Dog Taquitos Exist and Here’s How to Make Them

It’s happened.

We have, unfortunately, come to the final installment in our series of recipes inspired by the recent release of Hidden Valley Ranch’s Secret Sauces and their pursuit in bringing restaurant-style meals to your home.

This one is a love letter to a Los Angeles staple: the street dog. The bun has been ditched though, and replaced with a tortilla, to create the HVR Street Dog Taquitos.

This is a one pan recipe, but requires the cooking of a couple different things on said pan, so find a decently large one. Then preheat your oven to 425 degrees, and gather your ingredients.

While the oven is warming up, cover both sides of a tortilla with non-stick spray, or some kind of oil. Wrap it around a hot dog, and lay the wrapped dog on the pan, seam side down. Repeat for as many hot dogs as needed. Make sure to leave some room on your pan, as some space will be needed for the onion and pepper mix.

Prepare this mixture by cutting some onions and bell peppers into strips, both at about a cup each. You could use a frozen mix as well or whatever you have at hand. Spread them out over the remaining empty pan space, and toss them in non-stick spray, or some kind of oil.

Throw the pan into the oven for 15-20 minutes, or until everything has achieved preferred doneness.

Make sure to prepare some garnishes as well, such as sliced jalapenos, bacon bits, or anything else that sparks your imagination.

Once the taquitos are done, top with the onion and pepper mixture, whatever garnishes you selected, and, most importantly, a strong helping of HVR’s Spicy Secret Sauce for some much-needed heat.

The best part of this recipe, besides how easy it is to make, is its versatility. Perfect for an appetizer, a party favor, or a late night snack– it’s hard to imagine a situation where these wouldn’t hit.

See the full recipe below, and check out our previous installments of HVR’s Pub to Plate recipes to see some other unmissable dishes.

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Brand Products Recipes

This Easy-to-Make Nashville Hot Tots Recipe Is What You Need In Your Life

hidden valley nashville hot tots

Earlier this week, we premiered the first segment in a series of recipes inspired by Hidden Valley Ranch’s new Secret Sauces. Today we continue on with our mission to help bring effortless, Pub-style meals to your home, this time with a recipe for a HVR Nashville Hot Tots.

Let’s dive in.

Start with heating up the tots, which is as simple as following the directions on the back of whatever bag of golden delicious that lies in your freezer. 

Then it’s time to create the base of the dish’s flavor: the spice mix. While the tots are heating up, mix together one tablespoon of brown sugar, one teaspoon of chili powder, one teaspoon of paprika, 1 teaspoon of garlic powder, and  3 tablespoons of cayenne pepper (a measurement which can, of course, be seasoned to taste based on your threshold for spice). 

Once the spices have been combined and tots have been crisped, mix the two by coating the tots in the spice mix. 

After that, it’s as simple as topping your spiced potatoes with a cheese sauce of your preference, and a healthy dose of the HVR Smokehouse Secret Sauce, the most BBQ-esque of the HVR’s Secret Sauce trio.

Realistically, though, once the tots have been tossed, the topping choices are pretty flexible. 

Just don’t forget the secret sauce, otherwise you’ll be left with an approximation that’s “missing something.” Which, as far as recreating recipes goes, is a disappointing result. The sauce is the key here, reader. 

Check out the full recipe below, and make sure to keep your eyes peeled for our next HVR Pub to Plate recipe, which will be dropping in the next couple days.

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News What's New

UberEats Announces Free Delivery For All Black-Owned Businesses

As corporations move to right their wrongs in response to mass political unrest, UberEats has announced the waiving of all delivery charges for black-owned restaurants.

The policy will last for the entirety of 2020, the company announced in an email last Thursday, and the included businesses will be featured in a prominent list on the app. A prompt, imploring users to “support Black-owned restaurants,” will appear to direct the user towards the list anytime the app is opened.

“We know there is no easy solution to the problem we have faced for centuries,” wrote the company’s CEO Dara Khosrowshahi in said email, “We also know that we need to devote our time, energy, and resources toward making a difference.”

The email contained a list of other measures that the company will be enacting in support of these statements, including: a $1 million donation to the Equal Justice Initiative and Center for Policing Equity, discounted rides to black-owned businesses who have been affected by COVID-19, a policy tying Uber executive’s salaries to measurable progress in diversity goals, and the publishing of the company’s workforce data in hopes to be held accountable by the public.

It’s promising to see a corporation the size of Uber taking tangible steps towards helping the businesses and employees that haven’t received support in years past. One can only hope that other corporations, those who have remained silent or released empty statements, take note. 

Khosrowshahi ended the email with a call of support to the cause, unminced and encapsulating of the company’s motives:

“Lastly, let me speak clearly and unequivocally: Black Lives Matter.” 

While this is a positive start for giving awareness and a platform for Black-owned restaurants, the fact that UberEats is not lowering its core business of fees to the restaurant should be noted and still criticized. In a restaurant climate that’s already been ravaged by the pandemic, charging 30% for service fees is still a glaring problem that UberEats, along with other third party delivery apps, need to address. In the grand scheme of things, the delivery fee is nominal.

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#foodbeast Drinks Fast Food FOODBEAST

Taco Bell’s Newest Secret Menu Hack Is a Tie Dye Freeze

 

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In terms of secret menus, not many hold a candle to Taco Bell. The chain is famous for encouraging people to customize their menu items in any which way, occasionally creating an entirely new menu item, the newest of which is called the Tie-Dye Freeze.

The restaurant recently introduced the Pineapple Whip freeze, adding onto the line up with their current flavors of Baja Blast and Wild Strawberry. It was only a matter of time before someone got the impulse to mix them.

Luckily, we’re talking about one of the few restaurants that takes no issue with that idea. This hack is confirmed to be a go. Just ask for the Tie-Dye Freeze at the drive-thru, and pick your flavors.

The result will be a colorful, layered slush drink that hits all the marks: sweet, tangy, cool — all while sporting an IG-worthy aesthetic.

The new freeze will be available for purchase when the Pineapple Whip flavor gets put in nationwide rotation, on May 21, just in time for summer. And, let’s be honest, there’s no time for a Taco Bell freeze like a hot summer afternoon.

So stay sharp, and make sure to remember this secret menu hack the next time you pull up to Taco Bell.


Created in partnership with Taco Bell.