Happy Easter weekend! It is quite a warm day here in New Haven (26 degrees C), so turning on my oven was not a welcome thought. The end result was worth the 30 min of extra heat and the Arepas were enjoyed by everyone!
Arepas– By Aveline Kushi
These delicious corn dough balls are the traditional staple in many parts of Latin America and are eaten instead of wheat bread. They can be made plain or stuffed with a variety of ingredients.
11/2 Pounds corn dough – (corn masa/flour)
1/4 tsp sea salt
Spring or filtered water
Sesame oil, preferably dark
Crumble the dough(corn flour) and add the salt. Knead with a small amount of water until soft and the consistency of bread dough. If you use too much liquid, add more dough(corn flour) or let it dry for a few minutes in the open air. Form the dough into 6-8 fist sized balls. Brush a cast iron frying pan with dark sesame oil. Flatten the arepas into ovals. Cook for 2-3 minutes on each side, or until a crust forms. Then bake in a preheated 350 degree oven for 20 minutes, or until the arepas begin t puff up. they are done when they make a hollow, popping sound when tapped.
Variations: Arepas can also be made without baking by pan frying for 10 minutes in a covered frying pan over low heat. then uncover, turn up the heat, and cook for an additional 15 minutes. for variety, try adding 2 cups of sesame seeds or chopped sauteed vegetables to the dough and knead thoroughly, Fancier arepas can also be made by serving with tofu, tempeh, or miso-tahini spread.
– I served the Arepas with re-fried beans, lettuce and salsa.