This easy Arepa Recipe makes 10-12 delicious and gluten-free arepas.
If you don't know what an Arepa is, don't feel bad. Up until one month ago neither had I. But all that changed when Terry and I had dinner at a new Latin restaurant in town.
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Arepas are very simply flat corn breads, almost like thick tortillas, that hail from South America, specifically Venezuela and Colombia. However, a big difference is that traditional corn meal is not used for Arepa, instead masarepa, pre-cooked corn flour, is necessary to make arepa.
I was intrigued so did a little research on this new food. The fact that arepas are gluten-free was a big plus for me as I am always looking for gluten-free bread options.
And it truly could not be easier to whip up a batch of arepa. In addition to your masarepa, all you need is a little water, salt and wee bit of oil for your pan for this arepa recipe.
A griddle, grill pan, grill or panini press would be perfect to cook your arepa. I think I'm going to try the panini press next time.
You can modify this arepa recipe by putting a bit of cheese in the middle of your arepa by dividing each piece in two, placing the cheese between and then sealing the sides well. Once grilled, you might need to heat your cheese-stuffed arepa in the oven to make sure the cheese is melted.
A South American bread/tortilla
Pour water into a large bowl
Slowly add the salt and cornmeal
Mix well and knead until a smooth dough is formed, about 3 minutes.
Let dough sit for 5 minutes. If it is too dry to hold together as a ball, add water in 1 tsp ingredients. You want to be as dry as possible but still hold together.
Separate dough into 10 pieces
Shape each piece into a ball and then flatten to a 3-4 inch diameter
Heat griddle over medium heat and add oil to surface
Place each arepa onto a griddle and and brown on both sides (about 5-7minutes per side). Low and slow heat is necessary to cook the inside while gently browning the exterior.
Serve hot and fill with your favorite filling.
The cooked arepa are split, almost like an English Muffin or a pita, and filled with whatever deliciousness you want, sweet or savory.
We used our Arepas as the bread for our Cubano sandwiches (roast pork, ham, swiss cheese, my dill pickles and mustard)…it was a nice variation. I did a little swap…I took out the pickles and mustard and substituted Spiced Cranberry Conserve...oh my…it was outstanding!
I will definitely be making these again in the near future. They were very easy to make and the opportunities for fillings are endless…and they are gluten free!
Here are some filling ideas for your Arepas:
So, were you familiar with arepas before today? If so, share some of your favorite ways to fill them!
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