Arepa is a delicious cornmeal bread found all over Colombia. It is simple to make and another component to the Bandeja Paisa. It would be lovely with just butter and is especially good served with Hogao the creole salsa also found on most tables in Colombia. Enjoy! Please note that you need to find the right kind of cornmeal flour, it is one that is precooked and called Maarepa and it should say instant on it. This can be found in most Latin markets.
Colombia Arepa (A Delicious Cornmeal Bread)
- 2 1/2 cups masarepa cornmeal
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 2 3/4 - 3 1/2 cups hot water
- 2 tablespoons melted butter
- Vegetable oil
- Stir salt into arepa flour.
- Pour 2 3/4 cups of hot water over flour and mix well with a wooden spoon. Stir in the melted butter. Cover dough with plastic wrap and let rest 15 minutes.
- Divide the dough into 20 pieces, and form into balls. Place balls between 2 pieces of plastic and flatten with a heavy pot or skillet until they are about 3 1/2 inches in diameter and 1/4 inch thick, using your fingers to smooth out any cracks along the edges. Place arepas on a cookie sheet, covered with plastic wrap.
- Heat a cast iron skillet on medium heat. Place 1/2 tablespoon butter or oil in the skillet. Place several arepas in the pan, leaving room so that you can turn them.
- Cook arepas about 5 minutes on each side. The surface should dry and form a crust. They will brown slightly, but do not let them brown too much. They should look like an english muffin. If they are browning too fast, lower the heat. Add more butter or oil for subsequent batches as needed.
- The arepas are done when they have formed a nice crust, but are still soft on the inside.
- Serve them hot.