Arepa: original recipe and all variations. How to fill arepas, the traditional Venezuelan and Colombian loaf.
L'arepais a focaccia made from the "land of corn", a basic ingredient in the food and wine tradition of Latin America, in particular of Colombia and Venezuela. In the past, the corn flour used for the preparation ofarepas it underwent natural processes that increase the bioavailability of B vitamins and PP vitamins; today, industrial processes have replaced the ancient and precious flour with hulled corn flour ormaiz blanco. For all information on the basic ingredient of recipe of the Venezuelan arepa I invite you to read the page dedicated toCorn flour.
Thearepasthey are consumed daily accompanied by different condiments. L'Venezuelan arepait is split in two as if it were a sandwich and stuffed with cheese, meats, beans, avocado ...
The dough is prepared starting from white corn flour or flourHarina Pan as shown in the photo below. Water and salt are added. Many recipes see the addition of oil, butter, eggs or milk. None of this is needed to prepare thearepas.
There is a sweet and a savory version of the arepas. The sweet version is more mashed and topped with brown sugar or syrups. The rustic version is taller and has dimensions that can vary with a diameter from 7 to 20 cm.
Fordo the arepasequip yourself with Harina PAN flour, a typical Venezuelan (in Colombia they use Areparin, which is practically the same thing!), it is acorn flourpre-cooked and then dried. Harina PAN cornmeal is used inarepas recipeand in other typical specialties such as chicha, empanadas, tamales, hallacas, bollos .. Bollos, for example, are very popular, especially in Colombia where they are served for breakfast:recipeis identical to that ofarepasonly here the cooking method is in the pot, the bollos are boiled arepas! :)
Thearepasthey can be fried, grilled and baked. L'Venezuelan arepait is also a typical dish fromstreet food, street vendors (but also in restaurants and pubs), prepare thearepawith a special appliance similar to a waffle iron. Among the various appliances used fordo arepas in Venezuelawe mention Tostyarepa and MiArepa (Miallegro).
To make up for the lack of this tool, I recommend following the Venezuelan and Colombian home traditions and plate thearepason a pan and then finish cooking in the oven.
How Arepas are made - The recipe
- 200 g of corn flour (maiz blanco typeHarina PAN)
- 250 ml of water
- abundant salt
- Place the flour in a bowl. Add the salt.
- Gradually add the water and mix until you get a large loaf.
- Take some dough and form many small compact spheres (arepitas)
- Crush the balls to obtain discs of the desired thickness (at least 1.5 cm to fill them).
- Heat a non-stick pan. Cook the arepas for about 10 - 15 minutes per side over high heat. When thearepasthey will begin to color put them aside.
- Transfer the arepas in the oven for a further 20 minutes at 160 ° C.
Arepas horneadas or Arepa frita (arepa al frono or arepa fritta)
As an alternative to cooking in a pan and in the oven, you can prepare the most caloricfried arepas. L'arepait should be fried in abundant oil, one minute on each side and turning it with a special spatula. During frying, do not try to turn themarepaswith forks because the dough breaks easily. When the crust has formed, transfer thearepason absorbent paper and let them cool.
Advice: don't be stingy with salt! Corn flour is very sweet so you risk getting a flaky dough.
How to stuff arepas
In Venezuela, the arepa de queso is a 'arepastuffed with stringy cheese. There are also sweet variations that see the use of coconut flour in the dough (arepa de coco).
L'arepastuffed with avocado, chicken and mayonnaise is called Reina pepiada. L‘arepa with yellow cheese and beef is called Arepa Pelua. Arepa de dominò is stuffed with white cheese and black beans.
L'arepait can also be prepared with tapioca flour, the taste is completely different and is calledarepa de yuca.
In the photo above, Arepa Pelua, with strips of beef and cheese.
In the second photo, minearepaswith blaco corn flour.
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I thank my friend Ana for the traditional recipes and for bringing a piece of her country, Venezuela, to Italy.
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