Why I Love This Recipe
Arepas are corn pockets stuffed with savory fillings from Venezuela. The Venezuelan Arepa has its origins hundreds of years ago, cooked by the various indigenous tribes across the country (Arawak, Caribe, Timoto-Cuica, Cumangoto). The Arepa has its name from the word Erepa, the indigenous word for this corn bread.
Ingredients You'll Need
1 lb. of Harina P.A.N.
1 tbs. of salt
2 tbs. of vegetable shortening
4 cups of warm water
1. In a large bowl, mix by hand by combining water, salt and shortening together first, then slowly adding the flour, mixing quickly to avoid lumps. Alternatively, in a electric mixer, combine all ingredients and mix on medium/low 2 minutes until shortening is completely combined and the mixture is homogeneous.
2. Keep dough covered with a moist towel and let dough rest for 10 minutes.
3. Once rested, portion dough into a 6 oz. ball and flatten it as if making a burger patty or hockey puck. The AREPA need to be sloped down instead of flat, straight edges.
4. Set all AREPA on a sheet tray.
5. To cook, first seal the AREPA on a flat griddle that has been previously oiled for 2 minutes on each side.
6. To finish, place the AREPA on the hot grill for 5-8 minutes on each side. Alternatively, it can be cooked in the oven at 350 degrees F for 10-15 minutes. THe AREPA is read when it sounds hollow if tapped in the middle. It needs to be crunchy on the outside.
7. Using a small, serrated knife, slice through the middle halfway, makingg sure that the bottom part is not sliced open (fillings will fall out otherwise).
8. Stuff generously with your favorite filling and serve immediately!