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Kelis’ recipes for some actual midnight snacks

Given her new track is called Midnight Snacks, we couldn't resist asking the artist for some of her favourite late night eat recipes.

12 Oct 2021

Tessie Orange-Turner

Kelis is generally renowned for her great cooking. She has a food truck, a cookbook, and has done a whole lot of recipe videos over the past year – she also mentions that the Black Foodie Instagram page is one of her favourites.

For Kelis, the ‘pivot’ to food was not a pivot at all. “It’s just like, I’m a creative person so wherever I can be creative, that’s what I want to be doing, right?” she says to gal-dem. “So food just being a medium where I’m really happy and really comfortable, being able to express myself and my culture and my heritage and my history? I feel like that’s just another outlet for someone who likes to create.”

Given her new track is called ‘Midnight Snacks’ we couldn’t resist the opportunity to get some recipes from her – here are two of Kelis’ favourite late night grazes. Bon appétit!

Smoked bacon arepas

Multiple photos, showing the process of making the arepas on the left, then the finished product on the right.

“Arepas are a dish close to my heart,” Kelis tells us. “They were the first thing that my husband made for me when we met and are now a staple of our family cuisine. I made them for people all over the world and they always go down amazingly well as a tasty snack.” She recommends topping them with cheese, chorizo, a fried or scramble egg, avocado…She also says if you don’t want bacon in the dough, you could try spring onions or corn.

Makes 12:

3 cups masa harina Venezolana (precooked white cornmeal), or any other precooked masa harina (this is a speciality Colombian product which you can get from a speciality market or the internet)

1/2 teaspoon truffle salt

7 cups coiler water

7 ounces bacon slices, pan-fried and chopped

2 tablespoons canola oil, or more as needed (if you’re cooking the arepas in a skillet)

3/4 pound queso cotija, crumbled (you can substitute feta or Spanish white cheese)

  1. Put the masa and the salt in a large bowl. Slowly pour in the boiling water, mixing with a wooden spoon to form a dough. Knead the dough a few times while it’s still in the bowl to a form a ball.
  2. Scoop up 1/4 cup of the dough (about 2 1/2 ounces), press in some of the bacon, and shape it into a disc that’s about 1/2 inch thick and 3 inches across.
  3. Preheat a grill to medium-low heat, or heat the oil in a skillet over medium-low heat. Grill the arepas or cook them in the skillet until golden brown, 6 to 8 minutes per side, turning them only once.
  4. Crumble the cheese and whatever topping you are putting on the arepas. Sprinkle with a little salt, depending on choice of topping, and serve.

Chocolate chip cookies with sea salt potato chips

A photo of the brown cookies, scattered with a dusting of salt and crisp crumbs.

A classic combo for a reason, Kelis wanted us to have this recipe because, she says, “I love salty and sweet together and these cookies are so easy to make so the ideal thing for a midnight snack, even when you don’t have a load of time to spare.” She prefers dark, semi-sweet chocolate for these, and notes that it’s important to use fancy, thick crisps.

Makes around 4 dozen cookies:

2 cups unsalted butter, softened at room temperature

2 cups packed brown sugar

2 cups granulated sugar

2 large eggs

2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract

2 teaspoons hot water

3 cups all-purpose flour

1 1/2 tablespoons cocoa powder

1 teaspoons baking soda

1 teaspoon fine sea salt or kosher salt

12 ounces bittersweet chocolate, chopped into 1/2-inch chunks (about 2 cups)

1 1/2 cups crumbled gourmet crisps (around the size of cornflakes)

Flaky sea salt for sprinkling

  1. Position one oven rack in the lower third and another in the upper third of the oven. Preheat to 160 degrees celsius (or 325 Fahrenheit).
  2. In the bowl of a standing mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, mix the butter and both sugars on medium-high speed until light and fluffy, about 10 minutes, stopping every few minutes to scrape down the sides of the bowl with a rubber spatula. Add the eggs, vanilla, and hot water, and mix to combine.
  3. In a large bowl, stir together the flour, cocoa powder, baking soda, and salt. Add the dry ingredients to the bowl of the mixer and mix on low speed until no flour is visible. Stir in the chocolate chunks and 1 cup of the potato chip crumbles.
  4. Scoop heaping tablespoons of the dough (about 1 1/2 inches each) onto an ungreased baking sheet, leaving at least 2 inches between them. Sprinkle a pinch of flaky sea salt and press a few of the remaining potato chip crumbles on each dough ball.
  5. Bake for 12 to 14 minutes, until the cookies are golden brown, rotating the baking sheets from front to back and from the upper and lower racks halfway through for even baking. Set the cookies aside to cool slightly before removing them from the baking sheet. Bake the remaining dough the same way.

These recipes and more can be found in Kelis’ cookbook, My Life On A Plate.

You can check in at this link for all the Kelis guest edit items as they come in through the week.