Making Arepas

Uh oh, this is the third hero shot in a row to include the Authenticity Towel. I’d better watch myself, or bits of pre-Colombian pottery and stone tools are going to start creeping into my pictures. A few months from now you won’t be able to tell me from Marths Stewart Living. Lord help me — and save me from cheesy visual props!

But seriously, I couldn’t resist attempting reader Marciella’s recipe for these simple corn cakes over the weekend. It seemed just too easy. And you know, other than the fact that I had to make one small modification, it was. I started with a couple of cans of hominy (nixtamalized corn) that I found at the supermarket for 88¢ each.

I drained the hominy, and when I went to rub off the kernel skins (hulls), I found that there weren’t any. That or they were so soft I couldn’t distinguish them from the soft starch. So I simply proceeded to purée the hominy in the food processor.

The result was a slurry with the consistency of mashed potatoes. Interesting, but too soft to make cakes with.

So I added about a cup of masa harina (instant masa) and a quarter teaspoon of salt and kneaded it all into a dough.

Perfecto!

The arepas needed about 2-3 minutes per side over medium heat.

They were skinny, but they still split very nicely with serrated knife. I made little sandwiches out of them (with pieces of flank steak and strips of sautéed sweet and poblano peppers). I’m pretty sure that’s how they’re eaten in Colombia and/or Venezuela. At any rate, they were fantastic. Looks like I’ll be keeping cans of hominy in the Pastry family pantry from now on! Thanks Marciella!

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2 Responses to Making Arepas

  1. Monica says:

    This is a great tutorial for Arepas, not using the corn meal that we use when making them… being from Venezuela, if you can find Harina P.A.N in your neck of the woods, you will then be able to make the authentic arepa that we eat in our country.

    We eat them stuffed with everything you can imagine… I wrote about them in my own blog here: http://www.sweetbitesblog.com/journal/2010/2/10/arepas-dulces-sweet-venezuelan-filled-corn-cakes.html

    And I also showed my readers how to make a “sweet” version of them.

    Liking your blog, and I’m putting you on my reader! Keep up the good work.

    • joepastry says:

      Thanks Monica! I look forward to reading your blog as well. It is possible to find PAN brand harina here, so I’ll try using it!

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