Got arepas...now what?
- rebrites Apr 20, 2012 10:12 AM
I bought a packet of Arepas, a tortilla-like white corn cake apparently from Venezuela. They are crumbly and slightly sweet... no substitute for the Mexican variety. What do I do with them? Anyone have a good recipe?
If they aren't stuffable, put the stuff on top like a sope. Stuffing ideas: Any mixture of roasted meats, beans, onions, cilantro, cheese, salsa verde, veggies (lettuce, radishes), etc.
Great foundation for a Reuben, sans rye.
Or stuff it with some sliced tomatoes, mozzarella cheese, pesto and pop it onto the panini press.
While you've got the panini press hot, try another one with goat cheese, chopped onion, chopped black olives and a pinch of crushed red pepper.
The taste of arepas is different from sopes and gorditas, so even though they look similar and are all Latin American, I don't think they compare any more than Italian polenta cakes. Neither with the fresh ground corn variety nor with the more common P.A.N. used to make arepas is the corn nixtamalized, producing a corn cake with a completely different flavor than nixtamalized corn cake type food items in other parts of Latin America.
Top with avocado slices, or guasacaca (Venezuelan avocado mash with vinegar, flat leaf parsley, and a few other ingredients...very easy to make!---dare I call it Venezuelan guacamole? The seasonings mean it tastes very different than our Mexican or Tex-Mex styles of guacamole) and slightly sour, salted sour cream, A fried egg with runny yolk, meats, cheeses (crumbly feta type, melty mozzarella type) are nice, too. You could really top with whatever you like. Whatever you put on top, start out with a pat of butter.
Stuff is usually put on top, but they can be split and stuffed, too (arepas rellenas).
was fortunate to be offered a class in arepa making at the hotel I stay at Venezuela.
I took them up on the offer, learned how to make them and received their "Pan" baking mix.
what a fun experience.
there, when breakfast is served, they offer jams of several sorts but also a variety of ground meats or sliced meats or syrup plus large pats of butter. my favorite is boring to the max but their butter is wonderful and adds just the right end to a perfect start.
You can have them slathered with butter and jam for breakfast, or you can have them stuffed with the usual suspects people have mentioned. I particularly like salsa (red generally, although if I could get tomatillos more often I'd make green a lot), roasted red peppers, avocado, and either bacon or leftover roast chicken. I've used cheese and refried beans to great acclaim as well, although tend to prefer those in pupusas if we're splitting hairs.
Todao's suggestion of a Reuben is inspired; could this be the return of something like a Monte Cristo to my restricted-diet life?