HOW TO MAKE AREPAS

On March 20, 2013 by Tina Diep

Arepas stuffed with fresh mozarellaI have heard a lot about arepas from my Venezuelan friend Indira – she has promised for years to make them for me. She finally made them recently and they have fascinated me ever since.

Arepas originated in Venezuela, and are used prominently in modern day cuisine of Venezuela, Colombia, and in other Latin American countries. They look somewhat like pita bread, but are typically made of precooked corn flour and fried on a skillet instead of baked in the oven. They are served very hot and you can fill them with a little butter and grated cheese, which is the simple and traditional way of serving them. Arepas are also great if you  are on a gluten free/heart healthy diet. If you are on a low sodium diet then don’t add the salt to the dough and of course adjust your stuffing to your diet.

Arepas should be easy to make, as they consist only of 4 simple ingredients. However, the truth is that to make truly great arepas, you need to know a few tricks that you probably won’t pick up from a YouTube video. I was able to finally learn how to make them when Indira’s mother recently visited from Venezuela and I invited myself over. Arepas are actually incredibly easy to make, once you understand how to deal with the dough. Please note that the corn flour dough does not respond in the same way as regular white flour dough. The best corn flours to make arepas are labeled P.A.N., and are available in most supermarkets in New York and elsewhere. It is important that the dough is not too dry or it will crack around the edges when you shape the arepas. It is also important to know that corn meal absorbs water slower than regular wheat flour.

Arepas are pretty filling depending on your stuffing, so 2 arepas per person should be enough.

Precooked cornflourINGREDIENTS for 4 arepas:

  • 250 grams (just over 1 cup) of warm water
  • 1 tsp. salt
  • 1 tsp. sunflower oil for the dough
  • 1 tsp. sunflower oil for the skillet
  • Approximately 135 grams (0.3 lbs/ a little under a cup) Harina P.A.N. pre-cooked corn flour (save a little of the flour after for later)

How to make arepasDIRECTIONS:

  1. Fill a bowl with hot water, salt and oil.
  2. Add the corn flour to the water little by little. Make sure to save a little of the flour for later. Gather and mix the dough with your fingers. The dough should be soft and on the moist side.
  3. Let the dough rest for about 10 minutes to give it time to absorb the water. If the dough is too wet and difficult to shape, add a little more flour to the dough.
  4. Heat the skillet on a medium-high heat. Meanwhile, divide the dough into 4 portions and shape one portion of the dough at a time. Roll the dough in your palms so it almost shapes into a ball. Press the dough slightly flat between your two palms and then use both your palms to rotate, and shape the dough into a pita bread shape. Pat the sides while shaping a bit and continue until the dough is about ½ inch thick.
  5. Add a little oil to your skillet and spread it evenly across the skillet using a piece of paper towel. Place the shaped dough portions on the hot skillet and allow them to cook until they become golden, about 10 minutes – then flip your arepas and cook the other side. Once both sides are cooked, they are ready to serve.
  6. Arepas should be served hot (you can fold them into a clean dishcloth to keep the heat) and can be sliced like pita bread or burger buns. Fill your arepas with a little butter and grated cheese or the ingredients of your choosing. The possibilities are endless. I personally like a little avocado/guacamole and chicken in my arepas or for a breakfast version serve them with scramble eggs.

Buen Apetito!Serving arepas

ArepasDanish version

SÅDAN LAVER DU AREPAS

Jeg har i lang tid været nysgerrig over de her såkaldte arepas, som min veninde Indira har snakket en hel del om. Hun lavede dem for mig engang til aftensmad og de har af fascineret mig lige siden.

Arepas stammer fra Venezuela men er en udbredt ret i Columbia og andre Latinske lande. De ligner et pitabrød, men er lavet af forkogt majs mel typisk bagt eller stegt på en stegepande eller i ovnen. De serveres varme og man kan fylde dem med revet ost, som er den simple og traditionelle måde at servere dem på. Arepas er iøvrigt godt for dig hvis du er på en glutenfri/hjertevenlig kost eller hvis du er på et lavt salt kost diæt, undlad dog at tilsætte saltet i dejen og så skal dit fyld selvfølgelig tilpasses til din diæt.

Arepas bør være nemme at lave da de kun består af 4 simple ingredienser men hvis man skal lave rigtig gode arepas så  er det godt at vide et par få simple tricks, som ikke engang et par YouTube videoer kan fortælle dig. Jeg fik endelig lært disse tricks og hvordan man laver dem fra Indira’s mor, som var på besøg fra Venezuela. Arepas er faktisk utrolig let at lave, når først man har forstået, hvordan man skal håndtere dejen. Vær opmærksom på at melet ikke reagerer på samme måde som almindelig hvedemel. Det bedste majsmel til at lave arepas er mærket Harina P.A.N., de kan fås i de fleste supermarkeder i USA og i Danmark kan man købe melet i de tyrkiske og asiatiske forretninger. Det er vigtig at dejen ikke bliver for tør for ellers så sprækker dejen når man former dem. En vigtig faktor for at lave dejen er at vide at majsmelet bliver ved med at suge vand til sig og det er nok derfor at det er gået galt for mig selv, da min dej er blevet for tør.

Arepas mætter en hel del så 2 arepas med fyld per person skulle gerne være nok.

INGREDIENSER TIL 4 AREPAS:

  • 250 gram varmt vand
  • 1 tsk. salt
  • 1 tsk. solsikke/rapseolie til dejen og 1 tsk. til stegepanden
  • Ca.135 gram Harina P.A.N. majs mel (Gem lidt af melet til efter det har hvilet)

VEJLEDNING:

  1. Fyld en skål med varmt vand, salt og olie.
  2. Drys majsmel i lidt af gangen, husk at gemme lidt af melet. Rør det sammen med fingrene. Ingredienserne former sig stille og roligt til en let dej. Dejen skal være våd og lidt grødet. Lad dejen hvile i ca. 10 min.
  3. Dejen har nu suget mere vand til sig, hvis den stadig er for våd så tilsæt lidt mere mel.  Den skal føles blød og fugtig og være let at forme.
  4. Varm panden op på en medium høj varme. Imens del dejen i 4 dele og form en del af gangen. Tril dejen i dine håndflader så de næsten former sig som en kugle. Tryk dejen lidt flad imellem dine to håndflader og brug derefter begge dine håndflader til at rotere og forme dejen til et pitabrød så den bliver ca. 1 cm tyk.
  5. Smør panden med lidt olie, du kan evt. gøre det med et stykke køkkenrulle. Læg den formede dej på panden og lad den bage indtil den bliver gylden ca 10 min. Vend dernæst din arepas og bag den anden side. Når begge sider er bagt er de klar til servering.
  6. Arepas skal serveres varm (du kan pakke dem ind i et rent viskestykke) og skal skæres op som et pitabrød eller en burger bolle. Fyld din arepas med lidt smør og revet ost, eller hvad du nu kan finde på. Mulighederne er uendelige. Jeg synes personligt at lidt avocado og kylling er lækkert og som morgenmad kan de serveres med scrambled æg.

Velbekomme!

One Response to “HOW TO MAKE AREPAS”

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