Arepas, Venezuelan Staff of Life
Start with good Harina Pan
Arepas Venezolanas prepared by a Real Home Chef, Doña Alba de Quijada for Cooking Latino produced by Bersaida Vega.
Arepas Venezolanas Part 2
Arepa - the perfect vessel
To make the perfect arepa takes practice and a lot of heart. In Venezuela and Colombia you will find an expert in every home, because arepas - or corn cakes - are practically the cornerstone of family life, a beckoning to gather and feast. Arepas make the ideal breakfast, light lunch, or late night meal or snack. Their appearance is most like an English muffin or crumpet. Their flavor is mild, similar to the taste of hominy grits, a perfect complement to almost any filling. Their texture is heavenly, lightly crunchy outside, warm and fluffy inside. My adorable husband makes the most divine arepas. He says the secret is to have equal amounts of harina pan - a finely ground hominy flour - to water, starting with the water in a bowl and adding the flour gradually. Then, to get the right texture, he kneads the dough until in falls off cleanly without sticking to one's hands. To make each arepa, he grabs a fistful and rolls it lightly and then forms into a patty and places it on a hot griddle or pan (preferably cast iron), flipping over so that both sides are lightly crisp. The arepas are placed into a 350 degree oven until they get puffy, about 15 to 20 minutes. Cut open carefully, minding the steam. A lot of figure conscious Venezuelan women scoop out the doughy inside which male family members will happily commandeer to dip into their egg yolk or mix in with beans or carne mechada, savory shredded beef.
Take a look at some delicious ways to serve arepas, in videos featuring Real Home Chef, Doña Alba de Quijada, who also demonstrates how to made delicious carne mechada to go inside the arepas, and, an arepa pre-throwdown with Bobby Flay, who uses milk instead of water in his arepas. He faces off in a friendly way, with Maribel Araujo, and Executive Chef Ilse Parra of the Caracas Arepa Bar in New York City, so lots of great arepa advice! Arepas are one of the most versatile additions to your culinary repertoire. You can also make smaller arepitas as impressive party appetizers.
Arepas Venezolanas Part 3
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