Basic arepa dough
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Basic arepa dough
  Dough    Basics  
Last updated 6/12/2012 1:07:14 AM. Recipe ID 33104. Report a problem with this recipe.
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      Title: Basic arepa dough
 Categories: Sides, April97
      Yield: 1 Servings
      2 c  Pre-cooked masa flour;
           -(yellow or white)
      1 ts Salt
      3 c  Water; boiling
           Butter; softened
  Arepas are simple corn cakes first made by the Indians of Colombia and
  Venezuela. They were an important part of their diet, like corn
  tortillas were to the Aztecs.
  Over the centuries, the poor people of Colombia and Venezuela
  continued to use them as inexpensive, easy-to-prepare source of
  nourishment. Today, these humble corn cakes are a comfort food for
  the rich and poor alike, a heart-warming tribute to simplicity,
  tradition, versatility, and good taste.
  Originally, arepas were made from dried corn kernels that were soaked
  overnight in water and lime to remove the skins, then cooked, drained
  and ground into masa (dough). Thanks to modern technology, a
  pre-cooked harina de masa is now available at most Latin American
  markets. An instant masa can be made by simply mixing this corn flour
  (either white or yellow) with a little salt and enough boiling water
  to make a stiff dough.
  The dough is then shaped into flat round cakes of varying thicknesses,
  depending on the intended use, and cooked on a griddle or deep-fried.
  In parts of Colombia, arepas are cooked atop a flagstone slab that is
  first heated and then brushed with fat. Another Colombian specialty
  ~- arepas de chocolo -- are made from fresh corn and cooked on top of
  banana leaves.
  Colombian arepas are generally thinner than their Venezuelan
  counterparts. The standard Venezuelan arepa looks somewhat like a
  flat bread roll, crispy on the outside and doughy on the inside. They
  can be split open and buttered, or spread with cream cheese or fresh
  goat cheese. Made this way, they are served for breakfast or as an
  accompaniment for grilled fowl, fish, meat stews, or sausages.
  In Venezuela, the doughy inside is sometimes scooped out, and the
  shell is filled with savory mixtures of ground or chopped pork, beef,
  ham, chicken, seafood, vegetables, or beans. They are excellent first
  courses. Venezuelan mandocas, for example, are cheese arepas shaped
  into rings and deep-fried. Another specialty is bollos pelones --
  balls of arepa dough stuffed with seasoned ground meat, either fried
  or poached in water, then served with tomato sauce.
  A popular snack in Colombia consists of arepas served with fresh
  cheese and fried chorizo (sausage). Colombians also make tasty soups
  using fresh masa or leftover arepas. Arepitas dulces make great
  The versatile arepa indeed proves that unpretentioius food can be not
  only satisfying but also delicious.
  In a large mixing bowl, combine flour and salt. Add water, stir with a
  wooden spoon to make a soft dough. Let stand for 5 minutes, then
  knead for 3 minutes. Dough is ready to be shaped into standard
  arepas, or to be mixed and kneaded with other ingredients such as
  cheese, chicharrones (pork rind), etc.
  To shape arepas: The standard Venezuelan arepa is 3 inches in
  diameter, 3/4 inch thick. Columbian arepas are larger and thinner,
  about 4 inches in diameter, 1/4 inch thick. To make arepas, oil or
  wet hands lightly and shape dough into balls. Place between 2 pieces
  of wax paper or plastic wrap and flatten into a circle; shape the
  edges to form a smooth disc.
  To cook arepas: Heat a griddle or cast iron skillet over medium heat;
  grease lightly and cook arepas on both sides, turning a couple of
  times until a crust is formed. Colombian arepas are ready to be
  served at this point, spread with butter. Venezuelan arepas have to
  be baked in a preheate 350-degree oven for 15 minutes. To check for
  doneness, tap the arepa lightly -- if a hollow sound is heard, it's
  ready. Split open, add butter and serve hot.
  Arepas freeze well if frozen while still warm. Freeze in layers
  separated by plastic wrap. Reheat frozen arepas wrapped in aluminum
  foil in a preheated 350-degree oven for 10 minutes or until heared
  Compliments of Garry's Home Cookin'

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Recipe ID 33104 (Apr 03, 2005)

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