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Venezuelan-style Arepas

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Venezuelan-style Arepas

Venezuelan-style Arepas

Marian Blazes

Arepas are corncakes made from a special kind of precooked corn flour called masarepa. Arepas are enjoyed in Colombia and Venezuela, although in Venezuela arepas tend to be thicker and are often stuffed with cheese or meat to make a sort of sandwich.

Arepas have a crispy exterior, and a mild corn taste and soft inside texture that is perfect for soaking up other flavors like the juices of cooked meat or aji salsa.

Prep Time: 20 minutes

Cook Time: 15 minutes

Total Time: 35 minutes

Yield: 8-10 arepas.

Ingredients:

  • 2 cups masarepa cornmeal
  • 1 1/4 cup warm water
  • 1/2 cup milk or buttermilk
  • 4 tablespoons of butter, melted
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 2 tablespoons flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon sugar

Preparation:

  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.

  2. In a large bowl, mix all of the ingredients well, until smooth. Don't worry if the mixture appears wet. Let mixture rest for about 5-10 minutes, to give the cornmeal time to absorb some of the liquid.

  3. The dough should be smooth and easy to handle, without sticking to your hands. If the dough seems dry, you can add a little bit more water. Knead the dough for several minutes and let rest again for 5 minutes. Or if the dough is too wet to handle, add a small amount of masarepa, knead, and let the dough rest for 5 minutes more.

  4. Take pieces of the dough and shape them with your hands into round disks, about 2 cm thick, and 3 to 3 1/2 inches in diameter. When shaping the arepas, repair any cracks along the edges with your fingers.

  5. Lightly grease the surface of a heavy skillet (cast iron works well) with vegetable oil and heat over medium heat. Place the arepas into the skillet in batches. Cook until the arepas are lightly browned on each side. Place arepas in the oven for about 8-10 minutes to finish cooking the inside of the arepas without burning them).

  6. Serve warm.

Makes about 8-10 arepas, depending on size.

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