I ♥ Venezuela Repost: Arepas

Arepas
Arepas Asadas

I've been away for a while. Sorry. The beginning of 2014 was rather rough around these parts. In addition to all the craziness in Venezuela, we were also dealing with an accident my hubby had due to the harsh winter in NYC. On top of that there were some particularly busy times at work (albeit, good busy for the most part) and several more WSET wine exams.  I admit I was having trouble keeping my head above water for a while there. 

But now summer is here,  the sun is out, the hubby is pretty much all better, work craziness has died down, and wine school is out for the summer. I can happily come back to the blog. Sadly, things are still bad in Vene; so I'll resume where I left off by re-posting another piece of the Pabellón--the arepa. Arguably, this is the lynchpin to the whole Pabellón shebang.

Enjoy this post and I'll be back with an all new recipe very soon.



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This post was originally posted as Pabellón Part 3 - Arepas on April 13, 2011.

Arepas are the final piece of the Pabellón I’m going deal with at this point, and we’re going to try something a little different.  With Greg’s help, I’ve made a little video tutorial.  This is our first cooking video, so please bear with me.

Arepas are eaten at any time of day, as a snack or as part of a meal.  They are also REALLY easy to make, but I think it might be helpful to see how it’s done – hence the reason I decided to make this video.

As a quick aside, I just want to say thanks to my darling husband/cameraman for putting up with a very bossy director.


Here is the recipe as it appears on the back of the bag:

Arepas

2 ½  cups of lukewarm water
2 cups of Harina P.A.N
1 tsp salt

Pour water in a bowl
Add the salt
Add the P.A.N. Corn Meal

Knead until smooth and form

The package instructions end there, so here are the directions for the two varieties in the video.

Arepas Fritas 
Once formed, carefully drop the arepas into a deep fryer or a pot filled with hot oil and fry for approx 4-6 min or until  golden.

Arepas Asadas

Once formed, place the arepas in a lightly greased hot skillet. Cook approx 2-4  min per side or until the arepa is lightly charred.

Transfer the arepas to an oven that has been pre-heated to 350. Bake for 12-15 minutes or until arepa makes a hollow sound when tapped.(refer to video.)

I‘ve had spotty luck finding Harina P.A.N. in NYC and LA, so I assume it must be similarly difficult, if not more so, in other areas. If you’re in Miami, however, you should have no problem finding it in a store.  My mom often sends me a couple of packages, but when I don’t have that luxury, I just order it on Amazon.



Venezuelans have a few varieties of fresh cheeses, the most common of which is simply called Queso Blanco – white cheese.  I have had better luck finding this in stores than the Harina P.A.N., however, if you can’t find it, Mexican fresh cheeses are pretty similar are more even more commonly found in grocery stores. Additionally, here is a link to one I found online.




To make a Pabellón feast, serve the arepas with carne mechada and caraotas negras.

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