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Arepas - Printable Version

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Arepas - labradors - 09-03-2010

Having mentioned (in the "Chef-a-Nota" thread) Omar Pereney - the 15-year-old (maybe 16, by now) with his own show on El Gourmet, I remembered wanting to make one (at least) of his recipes. Back when this episode had aired, the El Gourmet website was in its older form, and more difficult to copy and paste, so I hadn't translated the recipe, yet. The new setup of their website, however, is much easier to use, so I finally have it ready in English.

This is the the recipe he gave for arepas with some traditional, Venezuelan fillings: queso fresco, Carne Mechada (shredded flank steak), and one that sounds particularly interesting, even by itself: Reina Pepeada (a chicken-avocado salad whose name's etymology would have to be reserved for a separate post)).

Arepas, Three Ways

Chicken-avocado-salad filling (Reina Pepeada):
  • Boneless, skinless chicken breasts: 2
  • Garlic: 1 Head, cut in half horizontally
  • Leek: 1, chopped
  • Bay leaf: 1
  • Onion: 1, peeled and quartered
  • Chicken stock: As needed
  • Salt and Pepper: To taste
  • Avocados: 3
  • Mayonnaise: 7 Tbsp.
  • Chopped cilantro 1 tbsp.
  • Lemon: Juice of 2
Flank-steak filling (Carne Mechada):
  • Flank steak: 1 Lb.
  • Olive oil: 2 Tbsp.
  • Onion: 1, peeled and cut into brunoise
  • Red bell pepper: 3, cored, seeded and cut into brunoise
  • Leek: 1, chopped
Butter and cheese filling:
  • Butter: 3 1/2 Tbsp.
  • Queso fresco ("farmer's cheese"): 7 Oz.
Arepa dough:
  • Masarepa (precooked corn meal, e.g. Harina P.A.N. or Goya): 1 Lb.
  • Salt: 1 2/3 Tsp.
  • Water: 2 1/2 Cups (Approximate: could vary, depending upon the masarepa used. Venezuelans would use Harina P.A.N., but Goya may be the only one available in the States).
  • Neutral oil: As needed for frying or grilling
Chicken-avocado salad filling:
  • Preheat oven to 350° F.
  • Place the chicken into a baking dish.
  • Add the garlic, leek, bay leaf, onion, and cover with the stock.
  • Season with salt and pepper.
  • Cover the plate with foil.
  • Bake in oven until the chicken is completely tender.
  • Shred the meat.
  • Place the avocado pulp into a bowl and mash until smooth.
  • Add the shredded chicken, mayonnaise, cilantro, salt, pepper and lemon juice and mix well.
Flank-steak filling:
  • Cook meat the same way as the chicken (i.e. in a baking dish covered with foil – not with the other ingredients), then shred.
  • In a hot frying pan sauté the onion, pepper and leeks.
  • When the onion begins to brown, add the shredded beef.
  • Season with salt and pepper.
  • Sauté a few minutes and remove from heat.
  • Place the masarepa, salt and water into a bowl.
  • Mix with your hands and then knead until smooth.
  • Take out small portions of the dough and form the arepas. First form each into a ball and then flatten into a disc about 3 inches in diameter and 1/2 inch thick.
  • In a pan with hot oil fry the arepas until browned.
  • Remove and drain on paper towels. They could also be cooked on a hot, oiled grill until browned on both sides.
  • Open the arepas without separating the two sides (i.e. like opening pita pockets).
  • Fill 1/3 of the arepas with shredded beef, 1/3 with chicken-avocado salad and 1/3 with butter and cheese.

Re: Arepas - karyn - 09-03-2010

Thanks for posting this Labs! I've never had arepas before, but I've been thinking of trying them.

Re: Arepas - luvnit - 09-03-2010

I have never had these either Karyn, or even seen them so I had to look them up.

Here is a pic: [Image: DSC02043.JPG]

Here is a wonderful video about making them: How to make Arepas

Re: Arepas - cjs - 09-03-2010

That little kid developed this recipe?????? He is something!!

Re: Arepas - Harborwitch - 09-03-2010

Oh thank you for posting this! Arepas are among my favorite things. You can be sure that we'll be trying all of these, but the chicken avocado is most intriguing.

Great recipes - the young man is very talented!

Re: Arepas - labradors - 09-03-2010

Don't know if he DEVELOPED the whole recipe completely on his own, or not, but he DID present it well in his show (it was something like the fourth episode of his first season). If nothing else, those fillings ARE very traditional in Venezuela, so he may not have had far to go to adapt them to his own style or even just to demonstrate them as they were.

Either way, they do sound good, and I hope to try them soon.

Re: Arepas - Gourmet_Mom - 09-03-2010

Don't those sound yummy! I've never heard of them either. I'll have to put this on the holiday project list. Thanks, Labs!

Re: Arepas - Harborwitch - 09-03-2010

We first had them in a little tiny restaurant in a tiny little town south of Fresno 6 or 7 years ago. I was hooked immediately and make them every now and then. The ones we had, and the ones we've made, are stuffed - not split and filled.

Re: Arepas - labradors - 09-03-2010

Some of the recipes I've seen have a stuffing that's cooked right into the arepas. One of the "fancier" ones (which was on a different program on the same channel) had a stuffing of quail eggs and a "fish salad" made with sea bass.

Still not sure if this would be part of the difference, or not, but that one was a Colombian recipe, while the above recipe is Venezuelan.

Re: Arepas - Harborwitch - 09-03-2010

I think you're right. The ones we had (stuffed with carnitas) were Colombian. I've done carnitas and queso fresca. Oh sooooo good. But I'm really anxious to try these.