Thursday, November 19, 2015

Simple arepas

This is a recipe I got from a great Venezuelan lady.  I have modified it slightly to work for my tastes.  If you are in the Raleigh NC area look up bracci's.

Serves:1

Ingredients:
  • 1/2 cup PAN pre-cooked white corn meal (GF).
  • 1/2 cup water
  • touch of salt
Instructions:
  • Add water and salt to a bowl mix quickly
  • Add the corn meal and mix with your hands until it approaches a 'playdough' like consistency
    • Note that if the consistency is not right add a touch of cornmeal or water.  (Not thick enough cornmeal, too thick water)
  • Once mixed completely then let sit 2-5 minutes
  • Grab a handful of the mix and roll into a ball.  
    • Place ball on some wax/parchment paper and press down softly until a disc is formed.   This disc should not be too thin, possible a little less then a fingers width in depth.
    • If the disk is showing 'cracks' on the edge then you did not have enough water in the mix add a couple drops and redo until this resolves.
  • This should make two discs.
  • Place some parchment paper on a pizza stone (I prefer pizza stones for making bread products)
  • Cook for 30 minutes at 350.  
    • The arepa then can be cut to produce a pocket.  note that the inside may seem a little gummy this is too taste.   This is a proper Venezuelan style.
    • If you prefer crispier arepa's, I cook mine for 45 minutes at 385, this leaves almost no gumminess on inside, and a nice crispy exterior.
Fillings:
  • Can be anything.  Note that sweet fillings will not be standard Venezuelan but don't shy away from fun :)
  • My favorites so far are:
    • Breakfast:   Scrambled eggs, Bacon, sausage, and a spot of cheese
    • Lunches and Dinners:   Any ground or diced meat with veggies and cheese.   I typically spice out the meal with south American or middle eastern flavors.
Alternate uses for this recipe:
  • The base arepa recipe if pressed much thinner can be made to an empanada or rolled around a sausage or other meats to form something like a taquito.   This recipe can be modified as needed to make hundreds of different meals, making this very flexible and a great base meal.