Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Arepas Colombianas (Colombian White Corn Cakes)

Arepas are Colombian grilled corn cakes and are eaten usually for breakfast. The most common way to eat them is to spread some butter on them and salt to taste,That's it, they're delicious!! Apart from the butter and salt which you should never miss, you can also top with shredded mozzarella cheese or white Colombian cheese slices, or serve as a main dish with shredded meat on top. Growing up my dad always made them for breakfast on the weekends!
It is also served as part of the bandeja paisa, the typical dish of Colombia.
In Colombia you will always see  women making them on the streets. They use a special griddle which is best to use. These are the ones that I use and you can probably get them at any Latin food store.

But if you don't have one you can use a regular skillet as well.

Here's what you need:

  • 2 cups of pre-cooked cornmeal
  • About 2  cups of water
  • salt
  • 1/4 cup shredded mozzarella cheese (optional)
  • Plastic wrap
Here's what to do:
  1.  Mix flour, water, salt and cheese if you are using it and knead until you can form a ball. (Add the water little by little, the amount of water depends on the humidity of where you live. I in the desert would have to use a bit more water than someone in a more humid place.) The consistency should almost resemble play dough.
  2. Always keep of a bowl with warm water by you to keep your hands moist and form the dough into golf size balls.
  3. Use the plastic wrap to flatten them to about 5 to 6 inches in diameter. ( I like them thin, but other people might like them a little thicker, it's all up to you.)
  4. Grill it for about 5 minutes on each side or until they come off easily from the griddle, if you are using a skillet make sure you grease it first and cook it for about 7 minutes on each side, use a spatula to flip it.
  5. It should not  be dark when cooked, it should stay white with a few burn spots.
  6. Make sure you spread butter and add salt. Top with anything else if you like.
  7. They go perfect with a cup of hot chocolate! yum...I'm getting hungry!

My daughter and I eating some delicious arepas my dad made for us :)

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