I made arepas!
….But it was kind of a bust. Sooooo… yea.
The pic above was taken the first time I had removed them from the frying pan. They were nicely browned on both sides, especially the side showing in the picture, but the top-side (before I flipped them over to cook) was extremely dried out and cracked. I’m pretty sure that’s not supposed to happen. I’m thinking it had to do with the temperature of the water I used to make the dough: too hot.
Arepa dough before cooking
The thing is, when I cut into the arepas the first time I pulled them out of the pan, I thought the middle felt a bit too heavy-damp, so I threw them into the toaster oven at 350F for about 10 minutes and then cranked up the heat to 400F for another 5-ish more minutes. This was a poor idea on my part because the arepas ended up being rather doritos-like in texture by that point, but still slightly soft in the middle. Slightly, being the operative word, here.
Pan-frying arepas with the lightest coating of oil at the bottom of the pan.
I think when I make this again (because I WILL be making them again), I shall have to use slightly cooler water to mix the dough and perhaps a smidgen more oil in the pan to help aid in the browning of the arepas in a shorter amount of time. Really, the amount of oil I had used to lubricate my frying pan was almost non-existant in teh scheme of things. The other option I might consider is if the arepas brown up pretty quick with the extra added oil, but the middles feel a little raw still, I might throw them into the oven for a few minutes. We’ll see.
I ate 2 1/2 of the arepas even though they were ridiculously hard on the outside with only the smidgen bit of softness inside. I buttered them and stuffed them with mozzarella cheese and they were quite tasty. In hindsight, I can definitely see that the first time I pulled them off the pan they would have been perfectly cooked. Not pretty, but definitely cooked.
The thing with the arepas, like with the chickpea pancakes, there are so few ingredients in this recipe that it’s rather ridiculous. Masa flour, water and salt. That’s it. They are so nice and soft in the middle, too… like bread, but not made of wheat! Wooo! ^_^ Makes me happy.
Arepas — buttered and stuffed with mozzarella cheese
1 cup instant corn masa flour (Maseca or Harina P.A.N.)
1+ cup of lukewarm water
Mix flour and a pinch of salt in a bowl.
Add water and mix with your hands until you have a nice soft squishy dough until thoroughly blended with no grainy lumps.
Divide dough into four portions and roll each into a ball and flatten out into a flying saucer shape about 3-4″ across.
Heat a little oil in a heavy frying pan or griddle and when hot add the arepas, as many as will comfortably fit in the pan.
When the arepas are brown on one side turn them over — the whole process should not take longer than 10 minutes.
Serve warm with whatever fillings your imagination can come up with.
And just because it’s funny:
Kitty in a box!