Stuffed Cornbread: Arepas

Yield:
4 to 5 arepas
Level:
Easy
Ingredients
  • 1 1/2 cups arepa flour, see note
  • Pinch salt
  • 1 1/2 cups warm water
  • 1 teaspoon canola oil, plus extra for cooking arepas
Directions

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.

In a bowl, mix flour and salt. Pour in water and mix with a spoon until the dough comes together. Cover with plastic wrap and let rest for 5 minutes. Remove dough from bowl and knead for about 5 minutes moistening your hands and the board with water as you work. (Kneading in the additional moisture is an important step in making a tender arepa.) The dough should be smooth and not crack around the edges; it should be moist but not sticky. Form into disks about 3-inches around and 1/2-inch thick. (The disks can be wrapped tightly in plastic wrap at this point and cooked later.) Add the oil to a non-stick pan over medium heat and cook arepas on each side just until a crust forms. Do not let brown. Place on an ungreased baking sheet and bake for 15 to 20 minutes or until the arepas make a hollow sound when tapped. Open a slit in 1 side of the arepa to make a pocket (or slice in half). Arepas can be stuffed with meat, beans and plantains or your favorite filling.

Cook's note: Arepa flour is a precooked corn flour and should not be confused with masa harina. Arepa flour is sold as masarepa, harina precocida, or masa al instante. It can be found in Latin American groceries.


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    I am glad you posted arepas, although you are missing the butter, which is what keeps the dough smooth and light. This ones might crack. The best flour in the States for this is called PAN and it comes in a small yellow or white package. Another way, and a common way at that, is making the arepas as thick as a regular American pancake and put a thin slice of mozzarella in between.
    First of all, I have to say Thank You! for bringing our traditional arepa to the TV and for making our traditional and delicious dishes known! I really appreciated that you dedicated one episode to honor out traditional food...I am from Venezuela and everyone from my country has a different way to make this dish, I have to say that your recipe is good and worked out for most of the people that made it, I have nothing to say but Thank you, I enjoyed very much watching you making one of my favorite meals.! *******
    I really enjoy this recipe. I can nolonger eat dairy or wheat and thought all breads were dead to me. Arepas have given me back sandwiches! A few quick things though I pan fry mine, not bake that way they stay crunchy on the outside. Don't make them to thick about 1/3 of an inch. Lastly make sure that you let the dough rest in order for it to firm up. Enjoy!
    They look really good, but my friend from Venezuela said that they look a little dark
    I understand that you can give traditional dishes a twist, but he got all the basics wrong! The dough is supposed to be less heavy (more lukewarm water), let it rest, and that way it gets more consistent. Like others have mentioned I'm sure he could have found Harina PAN in Miami. I liked the idea of the plantains as a filling (but he did those wrong too :()...We do that with our empanadas too! If you are going to make this recipe, use more water, less oil, and have fun with the fillings (cheese, deli meat, black beans, pureed avocados)
    These are great and very authentic. I could not find Arepa flour so I used the masa harina flour to advises not too, with no problem.
    I am Venezuelan and I have to say that I never saw anyone make arepas with yellow corn flower. Never ever.
     
    There are many traditional ways to fill arepas but you would never fill it the way he did.
     
    I lived in Venezuela almost all my life and my mother is really a good cook. I learned from her how to make most of Venezuelan recipes.
     
    I like Tyler Florence very much but all the recipes that he made on the Venezuelan episode were wrong.
     
    And I was really disapointed.
     
    I suggest him to find out more about our traditional food. There is a story behind the name of Pabellon con baranda.
    Since my childhood in Venezuela,the best brand for perfect arepas is harina de maiz PAN,is a pre-cooked white or yellow corn flour, it's also good for cachapas and for empanadas dough.
     
    Thank you Tyler forgiving the recipe to the world.
    My son-in-law cooks arepas often at home, so I entered the process with some trepidation...however, the raves I received proved that Tyler Florence has done it again! Daniel said that my arepas were superior to his! The entire Venezuelan dinner was a resounding success!
    Being 1/2 American and 1/2 Venezuelan, it took me awhile to master Arepa making. You must use a 'pre-cooked' harina mix, Harina Pan from Venezuela (sold almost everywhere these days) is the authentic one and Goya's is a good substitute. Can either be white or yellow in color, mix is 1 cup to 1 1/4 cup water to 1 1/2 cup water plus 1 teaspoon of salt. This makes about 4 arepas. Mix and let sit for a few minutes. Here comes the hard part (at least for me!). Put some masa between both palms, slowly start rolling the masa and form a ball, then will still rolling between both palms, slowly flatten the 'masa' to the thickness you want. Make sure the edges are round with no cracks! If you have any cracks, when they are done, you will not be able to get that 'hollow' sound when you tap them. If when you are flattening them you see some cracks forming, I dab my finger in water and try to 'erase' the crack. Place a dab of oil in a non-stick skillet and brown them on both sides, then place in a 350 oven for about 15 minutes. You will see them inflate a little in the oven. You can also cook them at 500 degrees if you want the outside to get a little more crunchy. They are wonderful. I have taught all my non-Venezuelan friends how to make them.
    I'm Venezuelan and this recipe does not work like this. You MUST get the corn flour from Venezuela which is precooked already. It makes all the difference in the world. You stuff them with cheese, ham and cheese, all sorts of things but you have to knit the dough and def. put more liquid. When cooking, it's just with a tiny bit of oil removing the excess with a paper towel just to make the outside a bit crispy and then to the oven.
    A 1 to 1 ratio of flour to water did not work. It ended up in a watery mess.
     

     
    Instead, I followed the flour tortilla recipe on the back of my harina preparada which called for 2 cups of flour and only 1/2 cup of warm water. This worked great and made a great dough which made great biscuits (arepas).
     

     
    I didn't understand why the recipe says not to brown the arepas when you are cooking them in the oil. I let them cook until they got a little brown and it didn't hurt anything in the end. However, I have yet to make one that is hollow inside. Instead, they've been turing out like biscuits.
     

     
    I put the pulled beef I made from the recipe from the same show in between the havles and made great sandwiches.
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