Lately, arepas have been my newest food obsession! An everyday food in Columbia and Venezuela, arepas are a cross between a tortilla, cornbread, and a biscuit. They are naturally gluten-free, so I’m finding them to be the perfect quick and easy bread for sandwiches! We have a really great arepas restaurant in New Orleans (Maïs Arepas if you are in the area) and I found myself missing it while in Savannah. But out of limitation, comes innovation! I’m so happy I decided to try making my own arepas at home. So quick, easy, and delicious!
makes four ~4 inch arepas
– 1 cup Donarepa precooked white corn meal (There are several brands of this, I just buy Donarepa at my local grocery store. Goya and Harina PAN are others. Make sure you buy precooked white or yellow corn meal, as regular corn meal or masa harina are not the same.)
– 1/8 tsp salt (closer to 1/4 tsp if using regular butter)
– 1 Tbsp Kerrygold salted butter (I use this for its extra salty and delicious flavor, and that it is softer and incorporates easily into this recipe. If you use regular butter you will need to up the salt content slightly.)
-1 cup warm water
-coconut oil, for cooking
-toppings/fillings, as desired
1. In medium sized bowl, mix arepa flour and salt together.
2. Using a pastry cutter, cut butter into flour mixture until incorporated — butter is in small granules.
3. Stir water into mixture until thoroughly combined and a soft dough forms.
4. Let dough sit for several minutes. (this helps form softer arepas, making sure the arepa flour has absorbed the liquid)
5. Knead dough slightly into a ball and separate into four quarters.
6. Shape each quarter of the dough into a ~4 inch thick flat circle.
7. Cook arepas on both sides in coconut oil on a flat griddle or iron skillet. Start at a lower temperature, helping the arepas cook through, then raising the temperature for the outside to crisp. You can also bake them in the oven. Arepas should be soft on the inside and slightly crisp out the outside.
8. Enjoy as is, with cheese and melted butter, cut open and stuffed with meat, cheese, etc, or however you’d like!
I love them stuffed with white cheddar, shredded pork carnitas, avocado, and crema!