Arepas (Venezuelan Cuisine)

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Venezuelan cuisine is a both traditional and modern cuisine; this influenced the Venezuelan cuisine because of the indigenous people and the ancestry of the European. Venezuelan cuisine has much popular food; there are empanadas, sausages and Arepas.

Arepas is a flatbread that is made of ground maize dough and sometimes cooked in flour prominent in the cuisine of Canada as well. There are various accompaniments like cheese, avocado or split and used to make sandwiches.

Sizes may vary doing this dish because of the amount of fillings; this dish is also popular in Panama, Canary Island, Puerto Rico and Dominican Republic.

Arepas is more frequently nowadays, maize meal or maize flour can be grilled, boiled, baked, fried and also steamed. It is easy to prepare because whatever type of cooking is available in your home, you can prepare this delicious dish. The color, size, flavour and the fillings which can be filled inside the dough is depending on the region and the availability of the recipe. In some regions they were topping the Arepas with tomato, eggs, meat, cheese, shrimp and more that will depend on the meal.

Since Arepas is popular in Venezuela, they made an “Electric Arepas Maker”, this appliance is similar with waffle iron but different in shape, which using two hot metallic surfaces with dough inside, unlike waffle maker, it has design and you can make about 6 waffles. Electric Arepas Maker helps to reduce the cooking time from 15 to 25 minutes.

Thinking about the taste of Arepas? How about cooking at your home and taste one of the popular dish of Venezuela. Here are the ingredients.


INGREDIENTS:

2 cups Pre-cooked cornmeal (see notes)
1/2 tsp. Salt
3 cups boiling water
3 tbsp. Oil

DIRECTION:

Preheat oven to 400°F.
In a large bowl, mix cornmeal and salt.
Pour 2 ½ boiling water and mix well.
Cover with warm towel and set aside.

Wet hands and form the dough into balls for about ¼ cup of dough.
Press to form a cake about 3 inches wide and ¾ inch thick.
If the dough cracks, add water and form the cake.

In a sauté pan, skillet over medium-high heat.
Sauté the patties a few at a time, to form a light brown crust on the side for about 5-6 minutes.
Flip and brown the other side.

When all the patties are browned, transfer them to a baking sheet and bake for about 15-20 minutes or until they sounds hollow when tapped.
Serve immediately.

NOTE: Cornmeal is used to make a special Arepas. It is precooked type and usually goes by the name Masa Precocida. It can be found in Latin Market and commonly found Masa Harina and it is not the correct type to use for this recipe.

VARIATION and FILLINGS:

Filled Arepas – Split the Arepas in half and scoop out a little of the soft dough. Stuff with your desired fillings.
Arepa de Pabellón – shredded, seasoned meat and black beans.
Peina Pepeada – chopped chicken, mayonnaise and avocado.
Arepa de Dominó – black beans with cheese.
Arepa de Pederico – scrambled eggs, pepper, onions and tomato.
Columbian Arepas – smaller, thickened and don’t bake. Topped with melted butter

As mentioned earlier, Arepas can be any time of the day. If breakfast, filled it with eggs, sausages and add some mayonnaise, if lunch filled it with meat and other vegetables and for dinner, it is usually filled with cooked main course dish.

Arepas is really good and also this is gluten-free, a delicious recipe and Venezuelan food that you will surely love to eat.
Happy eating to everyone!!!

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