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Natalia's Inauthentic Panamerican Arepas (corn cakes)

Contributed By: Natalia | See all of Natalia's recipes
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Active Time:  30 Minutes
Total Time:  1 Hour
  18 Arepas
I'm NorthAmerican and this is my way of making Arepas, a national food from Colombia, my SouthAmerican husband's country.
2 cups broth (anything from vegan vegetable broth to chicken broth)
2 cups water
3 cups 'areparina' or other South American pre-cooked corn flour for arepas (i recommend the white kind unless you really like the yellow kind better)
1/2 cup to 1 cup of frozen corn kernels (preferably yellow)
1/2 cut to 1 cup of shredded cheese (or vegan cheese substitute) of your favorite kind (i like mozzarella or a mixture of jack/cheddar)
your favorite salt-free seasoning such as Mrs.Dash
Non-stick cooking spray
an arepas machine (you could also probably figure out adaptations of how to make this in a sandwich grill or a quesadilla machine).
butter and/or creamcheese (or equivalent vegan spreads) to serve with it
aji or pico de gallo or other kind of fresh salsa to serve with it
You can pre-heat your arepas machine while you are making the recipe.

Put a towel or some paper towels under it in case there is some leakage of oil or water while cooking.

Combine water, broth, and frozen corn in a microwave-safe mixing bowl.

Throw in more seasoning than you think it will need (at least 3 dashes), because the corn flour is very bland and needs extra flavor.

Heat in the microwave until the corn has defrosted and the water is really hot (uncomfortable to touch).

Mix in the areparina gradually, using a strong implement such as a large wooden mixing spoon or similar.

When the dough (masa) is mixed well and is an even consistency, with no dry spots, mix in the cheese or cheese substitute.

You may need to mix with your hands, depending on how stiff the dough is.

When everything is mixed together, wet your hands lightly and break off pieces of the dough that form into spheres, beat between your hands to form into palm-size circles. try to make the circles fit the circles on your arepas machine.

If they are too big (resulting in crispy edges), it's better than if they are too small (resulting in undercooked arepas)

My arepas machine has 6 holes so I make 6 circles and then while those are cooking I make the rest.

Spray some non-stick cooking spray on your arepas machine's cooking surface.

Place the dough circles into the circles on the arepas machine.

Close the machine as well as possible. This might be difficult if your dough circles are too big, but it will cook way better if you close it properly, and your arepas won't dry out.

Follow the instructions on your arepas machine's timer.

Mine 'ding's when they are done... even if yours has a function like that, you might want to check it halfway through to see if they are done early.

In about 20 minutes, you should get golden-brown arepas that are extremely hot.

Take them out and put the next batch in.

This recipe should make about 3 batches.

Re-set the timer as needed.

A few minutes after taking the arepas out of the machine, they should be safe to eat.

You cut them open and spread with butter or fresh salsa or even cream cheese, throw in some extra cheese, or use your favorite dairy substitutes.

Date Added: 08/10/2009
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