Sunday, September 25, 2011

Arepas, Glad We Finally Tried Making Them

warm and ready for slicing and stuffing
Usually, when I need some inspiration and some guidance for making something new I look no farther than  I often find what I'm looking for and more.  I keep a running to do list of food-related projects.  One of these is making arepas.  I had eaten the Venezuelan version before but for some reason kept putting off making them.  I knew that I just had to make them once and I'd be making them just about every week, so time to stop procrastinating.  Then I thought, why not pass this task to my husband for him to make for my Birthday?  A name in Spanish could even be slightly more appealing and a good reason to accept this tarea. I had decided to be extra helpful and provide him with a recipe, video tutorial and ingredients.  I really just wanted him to be the one to do a test run and give me a free Sunday evening on the other side of the kitchen island.  He usually has more patience with new things than I do anyway.  So back to Tastespotting.  That's where I went to gather information.  I entered "arepas" in the search window and got several websites.  I happened to go to this site and decided that I would start here:

A quick trip to Kensington Market to pick up the P.A.N, or harina de maiz precocida and nothing else needed.  Well, I did make sure to cook some bacon from the Healthy Butcher-my son calls it the "meat s(t)ore" and can spot it a block away since we go there so much- in the cast iron and have it seasoned and ready to go.

So, after a beautiful fall day at the apple farm and evening walk to the park we came home and dinner would be made for me and lunches the following day.  I am not sure if I have one highlight from today. Was it the surprise sunny weather and day out at picking apples, the wagon ride to the apple trees, a very cute rendition of Happy Birthday from my almost three-year-old, no traffic on the DVP, an extra outdoor outing to the park in the evening, my son asking me to go over everything we had done during the day because he had such a "nice day", or eating arepas I didn't cook myself?  I had a really nice day!

We will have some extra arepas for our toddler to try tomorrow for lunch.  It was too difficult to have them ready for his dinner earlier in the evening.  Not napping in the afternoon makes it extra hard to wait. While watching Papi in the kitchen, our little guy was delighted:  "Pan, ya ya ya".  So, anything that resembles bread is usually a winner around here.  It's not so easy to get him to try new things these days.

I will let the website above provide the all the information you will need to make the arepas, and I am just posting the ingredients and some photos from our first attempt:

What you will need:
2 1/2 cups of tepid water
Tablespoon salt
2 cups of P.A.N Corn Meal
Canola Oil
Cast iron pan or other pan for shallow frying
Ingredients of your choosing for the filling

¡Buen provecho!

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