Ingredients and elements
Known as arepas, these cornmeal rounded cakes are one of the typical dishes of Venezuela and Colombia. You can eat roasts, fried, baked, alone or stuffed, and are the delusion of many nationals of these countries located in South America. This time we will tell you how arepas can be made, as well as some ideas to make them a rich filling that will surely delight your diners.
To make arepas you need few ingredients for the preparation of the dough, and others for the filling. Basically to make these corn cakes themselves you will need the following ingredients and elements (this preparation is enough for six good size arepas):
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- 2 cups cornmeal
- 2 cups warm water
- 1 tablespoon vegetable oil
- 1 teaspoon salt
There are people who stylize also add to the dough some kind of extra ingredient like striped garlic, or carrot and even oats, in order to make arepas a little more whole. However, once you have your ingredients ready, then be sure to gather the following items:
- 1 medium bowl
- 1 wooden spoon
- 1 frying pan / 1 budare / 1 grate
Already with all your elements and ingredients available we will then proceed to prepare the listed South American arepas, for which you must follow the following steps:
1) Before starting your mix, preheat the surface or oven where you will cook your arepas.
2) Pour your two cups cornmeal into the bowl, immediately add the teaspoon of salt and the tablespoon of vegetable oil.
3) Once you have all the dry materials arranged in the bowl incorporate a cup of water and with the palette start mixing the ingredients.
4) When you no longer see liquid in your mixture, leave the paddle, gradually incorporate the second cup of water while kneading with your hand. Knead until the preparation is a flexible dough, without lumps. The right point of the dough will be known when you put your hand to the dough and it leaves without any residue.
5) Once your preparation is ready, let it rest, covered with a damp cloth.
6) Some people stylize a thin layer of oil on the surface where they will cook their arepas, you can help with a small brush.
7) Then take with your hands a medium fist of your dough, and start shaping it as a sphere with your two hands. Once you have achieved this shape, start flattening it, so that you reduce the sphere to a flat circle, which will be the thickness of your preference, there are those who prefer to make the arepas a little chubby so that we can fill them with pleasure; others prefer them super thin, so that they can be eaten almost like toast.
8) When you have achieved that shape, gently place your arepa on the surface. Don’t move it until you can see that the heat-exposed side has started to brown.
9) Once you think that your arepa is starting to take color on the side that is cooking, proceed with the help of a spatula to flip your arepa, the thinner you have to be careful, because it could break and that is not right.
10) Cook on the other side, keep in mind that the second side cooks a little faster than the first.
11) Once golden and toasted on both sides you can remove it from the heat. There are those who continue cooking as they are of the preference of super toasted arepas. So it all depends on your tastes.
12) And ready you have some rich and toasted arepas that you can enjoy at your breakfast or dinner.
Other ways to prepare arepas
So there are also those who opt for fried arepas, in which case you must first pour a generous amount of oil into a deep pan and put it to heat while you follow one by one the steps of the preparation of your dough. Once you’ve got your flat circle of dough, then place it to fry.
In Venezuela, for example, it is stylled to make the arepa a hole in the middle so that it cools much faster. Once your arepa is well browned on both sides, remove it from the oil with the help of a spatula and very careful not to burn. Place on absorbent paper so that it collects as much oil as possible.
Also in some areas of both Colombia and Venezuela, it is stylled to make the arepas in the oven. To do this, before you start your preparation, you should preheat your oven to 250oC, as well as place a deep pan with a generous amount of oil on the heat. Once you’ve finished your preparation, put your dough to fry.
When it is well hoeded on both sides, place it in a container you have previously smeared with a little oil, and bring them to the oven for about fifteen or twenty minutes more. To know if they are ready to hit them gently with your finger and if you receive in response a slight hollow sound is a sign that these are ready.
If you want to try the stuffed arepas. You just have to open them horizontally with a knife when they’re still hot. You can use filling as much as the ingredient goes through your imagination, you can use butter, cheese, ham, mortadella, meat, ground meat, chicken, pernil, and everything that appeals to your palate. And now yes, Good Advantage!
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