Yesterday I was watching Bobby Flay’s Throwdown. “Bobby challenges Maribel and Aristides Barrios, NYC restaurateurs who hail from Venezuela, to a throwdown featuring their house specialty, arepas, which are delicious grilled cornmeal patties filled with sweet and savory treats.”
I watched carefully to see how the arepas were made because they looked and sounded wonderful. When I went to the Food Network website, however, the only recipe was for bobby Flay’s and I preferred to make the original Venezuelan ones. I did some searching around and found a blog article that described them very closely to the ones on the show and had pictures. I tried to find the masa arepa (pre-cooked cornmeal) and of course I couldn’t. I got the closest thing I could which was corn flour and I think that mine are not as good as they would be with the correct ingredients. I will keep looking and if nothing else when we go for Dale’s next appointment in Dallas I will pick some up there and try some more.
They look similar to English muffins but they don’t taste the same and are different texture. They were pretty good right out of the oven with butter. The dough is very simple to make and you pick up a ball of it and basically toss it hand to hand til it makes a dense ball and then kind of rotate as you toss smoothing it into a disk about a third of an inch thick. You cook it over medium heat on a cast iron griddle or non-stick skillet. Cook about 7 minutes on each side being careful not to burn it. Place in oven for about 15 minutes to finish cooking (350 degrees).
Here is my finished result:
The recipe and other pictures can be found here.
I hope you will give it a try and let me know how it turns out for you!
Addendum: I found the Masa Arepa and it makes a big difference in the texture and the taste. I still need practice but my second batch was much better. They taste just a little bit like grits.