This month for Foodie Extravaganza, hosted by Wendy of A Day in the Life on the Farm, we are celebrating National Sandwich month. So I went with a South American theme and make stuffed arepas, because arepas are my new favorite food, for this month anyway. I have a friend I've had several classes with from Colombia and she finally showed me how to make them one day, and oh my goodness, they are amazing.
A couple things I learned about arepas is that they are usually eaten one of two ways. Colombian style they are eaten with butter and cheese on top but the Venezuelan style is is to cut them open and stuff them like a sandwich.
The corn flour is called masarepas and is different than other corn flours. Masa harina, used for tamales, doesn't work for arepas, they won't hold together properly. Corn starch is called corn flour in some countries and is right out.
My favorite way to enjoy them is warm with butter and feta cheese on top. The toasty arepa, with a little richness from the butter, and then the tangy, salty cheese all fits together beautifully.
There are also several ways to cook them. One way is to cook in a pan,the second is to cook them on a wire rack over a hot burner. I tried them both ways, for science!, and found we preferred the ones cooked over the hot burner. My friend has a special rack, like a round cookie cooling rack with taller feet and a handle. Since I don't have one of those I improvised. I used a regular cookie cooling rack and raised it up on two cans that had contained tomato paste.
2 c. masarepas corn flour
2 c. water, very warm but not hot
1 Tbsp. margarine
1 tsp. salt
2 c. cooked shredded chicken
1/4 c. mayo
4 green onions, sliced
Salt and pepper to taste
Combine the chicken, green onions, and mayo and stir to combine. Taste and add salt and pepper as needed. Chill until ready to use.
In a large bowl add the butter and salt and pour the water over. Leave for a few minutes to melt the butter somewhat. Add half a cup of the masarepas flour and mix to combine and remove lumps. Add the remaining flour and mix to combine. The dough should be fairly still. Remove from the bowl and knead it a minute or two until smooth. The texture should be like play dough and not sticky. If needed add a little more of the corn flour.
Place two empty cans on either side of a large burner and and top with a cooling rack. Allow to heat while you form the arepas.
Take a golf ball sized chunk of dough and press flat. You will need it to be completely even so it cooks properly.
Place the formed arepa on the heated rack over the burner and cook until it's toasted on one side. Flip and cook the other side.
Set aside while cooking the reaming arepas. If eating as a snack spread a little butter and crumbled feta on top.
If stuffing use a sharp serrated knife to cut about 75% of the way through. Fill with chicken salad, avocado slices, and/or cheese.
This week we are celebrating Sandwiches with #Foodie Extravaganza.
• Caprese Focaccia Sandwich by Caroline's Cooking
• Italian Style Chicken Club Sandwiches with Pane al Latte by Karen's Kitchen Stories
• Jolly Holiday Specialty Toasted Cheese Sandwich by Simply Inspired Meals
• Spicy Chicken Tikka Rolls by Food Lust People Love
• Turkey Burger by A Day in the Life on the Farm