Friday, June 5, 2009
Recently 4 or 5 people, tv shows, and magazines mentioned Arepa's. This savory stuffed Latin American pancake was otherwise unknown to me--but after watching Bobby Flay compete for the best ones, I knew I had to make them.
I ended up settling on the first written recipe I found from Cookie magazine--a magazine geared towards parents that often contains recipes for simply, healthy foods that kids will eat. After looking at the picture in the magazine, and then looking at the ingredients to make sure they were husband-friendly, I decided to make them.
Unabe to find the main ingredient masarepa cornmeal in my regular grocery store, I commissioned Gavin to get it from the local Latin market near his house. He got the white masarepa cornmeal...it also comes in yellow which would probably look more like the original picture...but close enough.
Our final decision was that these were good enough to eat and not throw out, but they were a little bland (thank goodness for homemade pico de gallo!). There is so little filling compared to cake that you end up eating a ton of cake which is the part that isn't flavorful. I also have a suspiscion that my dough was too dry...because it was really hard to pack that filling. I'm going to get some tips from Joey's cousin who is the master Arepa cook.
2 C precooked masarepa cornmeal
1 t salt
2 C hot chicken broth or water (I used 1 14 oz can of broth and 2 oz water)
1/2 C canned black or pinto beans, drained
1/2 C shredded jack cheese
1. Combine cornmeal and salt in a bowl
2. Add hot broth and mix until a dough with no lumps form
3. Allow to cool slightly, then separate into 8 portions.
4. Dipping your hands in cold water, form dough into 8 balls
5. Poke a hole in each ball and fill with 1 t. beans and cheese (or more, whatever you can fit!), pinch the dough around the filling to close
6. Between your hands flatten the balls into 1 inch thick disks
7. Heat griddle or electric frying pan (I did the EFP to 375). Generously grease the pan with oil or butter
8. Cook until crispy on both sides (they say 3 minutes per side, I say more like 10-12 minutes total--just watch 'em)
9. Serve warm with pico de gallo