Market Research: Food For Thought

What started as an idea for a Clitbait article at the beginning of summer has turned into a fully fledged way of life. Read about Sofi’s concluding thoughts on the Market Research journey and find out some of her top recipes for Winter Wellness.

I want to eat my way through this city. If music is the food of love, and London is a consumerist society, then let me sing you a song and have a bite of your packed lunch. I have finished this journey greedier than ever and have taken the executive decision to continue the Arepatoire project beyond the summer. Meeting you all in person and creating new dishes for different customers around town these past few weeks has become an addictive creative practice. As September sets in to our weathered bones and bellies; here are a few recipes to keep us going through Autumn and into Winter…

For The Office Girlies…

We all know that triangular shaped box sandwiches taste like card and make us sad, especially when eaten at our desk. Time might feel like the enemy of the city worker, but we all deserve better flavours at midday. Here is a recipe that is quick to prepare the night before and designed to share with other curious Office girlies! If you want to make extra sofrito, this is a delicious meta-theatrical topping for the best packed lunch arepa of your life. Be the legend of your own lunchtime.

Ingredients (2 servings):

3-4 cloves minced garlic

½ yellow or red pepper 

1 white onion

1 cup PAN flour

1 cup warm water

Olive oil

Salt, pepper, cumin, chilli

To make the sofrito, fry your diced onion, garlic and peppers together in a generous amount of oil, and seasoning. Set aside and add to Arepa masa (please add more salt here). Shape with wet hands and fry the combined colourful masa for about 4 minutes on both sides. If your frying pan has a lid, even better as steaming can make your arepas even fluffier. 

For The Sun Goddesses (That Miss The Sun)…

It’s the freakin weekend and guess what? It’s pissing it down. You wanted to meet up with your pals at your fave outdoor street food market, but the met office had other plans for you and your Saturday afternoon. Here is a favourite ‘Sunshine on a plate’ recipe that will inject a bit of the Colombian Caribbean into your day.

Ingredients (2 servings):

1 ripe plantain

1 cup PAN flour

some warm water

Olive oil

Slices of Mozzarella/ mild cheddar 

Teaspoon of salt

For the Aji Salsa

1 clove raw garlic

Juice of ½ lime

1 Green chilli and salt

Good glug of olive oil 

Bunch of coriander

Chop the plantain into 5 chunks, leaving skin on, and boil in a pot until flesh starts to get loose. Remove plantain skin and mash the flesh into puree with the PAN flour. Add a tea spoon of salt and a bit of warm water until you get the dough consistency you like. Shape into patties with your cheese sliced in the middle of each two. Fry until golden on each side, keeping that lid on! Serve with the coriander aji salsa. To make the aji salsa just take all the fresh ingredients listed and blend them into a food processor, super easy and tasty!

For the Girl Dinners…

In one of our Clitbait Team meetings, our politics writer Ruby brilliantly explained the Tiktok phenomenon of ‘Girl Dinners’ to us as a viral take on the unglamorous reality of girls scoffing ‘a solitary goblin meal for one.’ Without going into the gendered debate of why working women are often left scraping for semi-comestible picky bits after a long day of multi-tasking duties … let’s reimagine what a girl dinner might look like in an ideal situation!

Imagined Dishes for a fabulous spread….

Smoky bean stew (slow cooked in tomatoes, season with cumin, chipotle, smoked paprika, oregano and thyme)

Reina Pepiada Avocado sauce (mix in ripe avocado with mayonnaise, garlic, oil, and if you like, shredded chicken. Top with fresh lime and coriander. This Venezuelan arepa filling was named after a Beauty Queen!)

Yellow Maize arepa (add grated cheese to the dough if you like for a traditional Colombian ‘Arepa de Queso’)

Pico de gallo (spicy salsa of diced tomatoes, white onion, garlic, green chilli, oil, lime and salt)

Coriander Aji salsa ( no girl dinner is complete without this classic accompaniment! And you already know how to make it…)

That’s all from me my dears, and happy feasting. I hope the next few months of transitional weather are conducive to all your culinary adventures. If you enjoyed these recipe ideas please come along to our next Arepatoire supper club where we shall be celebrating the food and music of London’s Latin fusion. See you soon,

Sofi X

Tickets for Arepatoire’s three course curated menu at MAP recording studio cafe are now available on DICE.