Today I am featuring my friend, Veronica Arevalo, a Colombian native who is going to teach me to make arepas.
Arepas is a staple type of bread for Colombians. I know this because Veronica and I had a blog-party this weekend, in which she came over just to make me her arepas recipe and be featured as a guest blogger. It was very fun and the arepas turned out “deli” as she would say. Veronica is from….Colombia! She recently immigrated to the US and misses her birth country like crazy!
We had a funny conversation at the table because my Cuban fiance, Rafa, kept asking,…”but, what exactly is an arepa?” And so we explained it like this:
Arepas are like tortillas to Mexicans, like bread to Americans, like pita to middle-eastern people, like rice to asian people, like naan to Indian people…(literally we went on for 10 minutes giving comparisons). IT WAS SO FUNNY!!! I guess you had to be there. 🙂
Today, I’m featuring her arepas recipe, along with the end product of this morning – a HUGE Colombian style breakfast, which she said was very traditional. Buen provecho!
Colombian Arepas – Two Ways”
- 4 cups of “PAN” 100% white corn meal
- 4 1/2 cups of luke-warm water (plus more incase the dough toughens up)
- 2 cups of mozzarella cheese, shredded
- Kraft singles, swiss (optional)
- Pam cooking spray
- a cast-iron pan AND/OR Arepa maker (not that easy to find!)
Before anything, put your cast-iron skillet on medium.
1. The first step it to take a large mixing bowl and pour in 4 cups of the white corn meal. Slowly add the 4 1/2 cups of luke-warm water. Veronica says it HAS to be warm because otherwise the dough will become very hard to handle. Throw in the cheese, too.
2. She’s smiling (above) because she’s been talking about making arepas for months and now she’s excited to be making them! Next, you need to form round dough balls in order to shape what will eventually become a disc shape (about 1/2 inch thick).
3. TOO BIG she says….but we used it any way. Now, begin flattening it until it’s round.
3. Pam spray your skillet, and place your arepas on the skillet. Here I have a picture of some just put on the skillet and some that have been on there for about 10-15 minutes and have been flipped. See how they’re golden brown? This is about the level they should get.
NOW – onto method #2, which involves less work.
1. First, plug in your arepa machine.
2. Form your arepa dough into 4 large balls.
3. Pam spray your arepa maker, even though it’s non-stick, just to make sure! Place each dough ball into the slots.
4. Now sqqqquuueeezzee the door shut. It may be hard, especially if you made the arepa balls too big (which we did, of course!).
5. Since the dough balls were too big, the dough squeezed out the sides and we had to cut the arepas to make them look pretty. The crispy edges were delicious and we snacked on them while we cooked the rest of the breakfast.
Finally! Here is the end product of all the arepas sitting on one large plate stacked up high with cheese slices melting between them! Yuuummm – they were SO good, I ate 4…or 5. Below is also what our final breakfast looked like before we dug in.
Breakfast was scrambled eggs with tomato and red onion/green onion mix, home-made arepas, turkey sausages, chicken wings marinated in garlic and lime juice, and orange juice. Also, if you notice, there are empanadas on everyone’s place. Veronica also recently make turkey empanadas. We served them with guacamole on top (over to the bottom left). In the words of Veronica:DELLLIIII