Well, it’s certainly been a long while, huh? Thanks for the well wishes for my little lass. She’s hanging in there. Lots on the dental horizon for her including two appointments this week. Did you know there are cookbooks out there for folks who can’t chew? There’s lots to choose from, including cookbooks for kids with braces! While most of the contents are common sense stuff, there are some really good ideas, too. My girl has not turned up her nose at the pureed meals I’ve made, so that has made the eating part of her recovery smoother.
Ain't she sweet? This was taken about 2 weeks ago. Despite the health woes these past few months, we’ve actually been eating quite well. Here’s something that I particularly enjoy for lunch. *Arepas* If you were to stop by my house, this is something that I could whip up for us to much on while we socialize.
I first learned about Arepas about a year ago while watching the cooking show called Throwdown With Bobby Flay. About the size of an English Muffin, Arepas are a popular treat in South America. I find them to be simply wonderful. Aren’t most simple foods pure pleasure? An added plus here is that they are also gluten free. I’ve made them a handful of times now, and each time my teeth sink into their crusty shells, my eyes roll backward in pure bliss.
Traditional arepas do not contain season salt; however, I really like the little extra “umph” that a simply shake of Lawry’s provides. For an even better description that what I’m putting forth, there are lots of YouTube videos that have great Arepa tutorials. YouTube isn’t just for the kiddos, ya know!
• 1 1/2 cups arepa flour, see note
• ¼ teaspoon salt
• Dash of Seasoned Salt (could use onion or garlic salt)
• 1 1/2 cups very hot water
• 1 teaspoon canola oil, plus extra for cooking arepas
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. In a large mixing bowl, combine the arepa flour and salt. Pour in water and mix with a your hands until the dough comes together. Smooth out any lumps you find. Cover with plastic wrap and let rest for 30 minutes. Remove dough from bowl and knead for about 5 minutes moistening your hands if necessary, until the dough is very smooth and not sticky.Form into disks about the size of English muffins, approx. 3-inches around and 1/2-inch thick.Add the oil to a non-stick pan over medium heat and cook arepas on each side just until a they turn golden and a crust forms.Transfer to a foil lined baking sheet and bake for 20 – 30 minutes or until the arepas make a hollow sound when tapped. Slice in half and stuff like a sandwich. Or you can cut a slit part-way through, and fill like a pita pocket.Arepas can be stuffed with your favorite filling. They are delicious for breakfast stuffed with eggs or even plain with a little butter. Drizzle on some honey for a sweet treat. When lunchtime rolls around, fill them something substantial for a mid-day fuel stop.
Note: Arepa flour is a precooked corn flour and should not be confused with masa harina or corn meal. Arepa flour is sold as masarepa, harina precocida, or masa al instante. It can be found in Latin American groceries. I’m lucky to have several Hispanic groceries at my disposal. If you want this, but can’t find it at your grocers, you can easily order it on Amazon. I used the brand with the word PAN in bold on the front.Doesn’t this looks scrumptious! Gluten free eating is second nature to me now. With recipes like this, I don’t miss sliced bread. I filled mine with carnitas, shredded cabbage, pickled onions, cotija cheese, and a crèma sauce. I made yummy noises. Lots and lots of yummy noises. What filling would you like?