April 3rd, 2014

swedish chef

arepas

I'd put something on one of my twitter accounts, https://twitter.com/theotherflav (I notice that you don't follow me on either of them, I must be more boring there than here...), about making arepas putting parmesan cheese in the dough -which works! lproven had asked me whether I made my own. Yes, of course. Making them with scratch with white maize is horrendously labour-intensive but these days you can get a pre-cooked, pre-husked white maize flour, Harina Pan. This, incidentally, because of the current situation there, seems to be easier to get here in London than in Caracas which is bizarre..

What I have found is that to avoid a lumpy dough, I put the (warm) water first in a bowl, a little salt in it and then the flour -a tiny less flour than I feel I should put, so it is not watery but not hard either. I leave it for some five minutes so the flour absorbs the water, then shape them and put them on a griddle on full flame for some four minutes or so on each side, so you get a golden (ok, more often black, in my case) crust. Then I leave them on low flame for some seven or eight minutes more. That's it. You don't really need to put oil (although I've seen this done) or butter in them, although a little butter will give them a little more flavour.

The parmesan bit: I didn't make this up, a Venezuelan-Scottish friend used to make them as very small balls with parmesan, which she fried -perfect party snacks.