Introduction: Easy to Make - Delicious Colombian Arepa
My name is Nicolas Gomez Solano, I am a 14 year old Colombian boy who loves to cook as a passion and life time hobby, this is my first instructable, so any suggestion would be great!
On step 1, I will talk to you about how it originated my idea to make a sweet arepa, if you are really hungry and want to jump to action skip step one and go directly to step 2 where the ingredients and cooking utensils will be described. Step 3 is the procedure on how to make the arepas, step 4 will be about sharing, you will understand it when you read it, step 5 is on how to portion your pieces and save them for later and step 6 is a little paragraph tanking you guys for the support. So! Lets get started!
Step 1: How It All Started
The idea of making an arepa started about 2 years ago, the inspiration to make an arepa came from my club called Club Campestre Altos del Chicala; it is located in Anapoima, Cundinamarca - Colombia. They make one of the best arepas I have ever tried, the only problem, they are not sweet, they are more like tradicional Colombian Arepas. From the moment I tested those arepas I wondered what I could do to change them, so I went in the kitchen and asked for the original recipe. Once I arrived back home, Bogota DC, Colombia. I started testing modifications and that is where the journey began. The first few recipes were awful, too salty or too sweet. So I gave up and started from zero. At first the recipe was not that tasty but thanks to my nanny - Paulina Correa, those modifications where fixed to be the delicious arepa that it is now-a-days.
Picture taken from http://www.altosdelchicala.net
Step 2: Ingredients and Cooking Utensils
So, as you can see in the picture above, the ingredients are actually in spanish and almost all originated from Colombia,
If you can, try to buy the most natural and organic ingredients you can find because it will make you arepa mare tasty and healthy!
The Ingredients needed to prepare the TWO Colombian Arepas are:
- 6 Tablespoons of All Porpose Flour
- 6 Tablespoons of White Sugar
- 4 Tablespoon of Whole or Lactose-Free Milk
- One Tablespoon of Canola Oil
- 250 Grams of Farmer Cheese
- Two Red Eggs
- Pinch of Salt
On the other side, for Cooking Utensils you will need:
- One Cheese Grater
- One Bowl (In this case I use a Pyrex Container with a capacity of four cups)
- A Table Spoon
- A Pan with a "Lid" (Try to take a pan that is not too big but also not too small so that the "dough" can settle and the arepa will not be too thick but also not too thin)
Step 3: Preparing the "Dough"
Before you start cooking I would recommend you see the pictures and skim through the text so that you have some kind of idea in your mind while you prepare the arepa.
You can see I divided the process into 24 steps (in the pictures), but don't worry it will take you about 5 to 10 minutes to prepare and 10 minutes to cook. I decided to take a lot of pictures and include a lot of steps so that you can really see the process and understand what to do. The first 12 steps are on how to prepare the "dough" for the Arepa and the remaining 12 are on how to cook it... But enough talking, lets get to work and prepare some tasty Colombian Arepas!
So, the first thing you want to do it to take your container, make sure it is big enough because f not, the "dough" will not fit, I used a measuring container that held up to 1000 ml and was more than enough. Once you have your container, add two medium sized red eggs, organic would be best but if you don't have any, regular supermarket egg will work just fine. After you add the eggs, add 6 tablespoons of white sugar, it is really important for the sugar to be white because if it is brown it may make your arepa be hard and dry.
Next, for flavors to contrast well, add a pinch of salt, this will make the sweet flavor stand out. Once you have already added the pinch of salt you can proceed on adding a tablespoon of canola oil and mix thoroughly. Following that step you pour in the 6 tablespoons of flour and keep on mixing. You will see the "dough" will become a little bit harder to mix. Next up, add 4 tablespoons of milk and mix again. For better results each time you mix, make it consistent so that all the ingredients mix really well.
Put apart the mixture and start grinding 250 grams of cheese with the Cheese Grater. You can decide what size you grind your cheese to but, the smaller the better because it gets well incorporated with the mixture, on the other hand if you want the cheese to be melted when you cut the arepa, leave it in bigger pieces. Follow this step by mixing the cheese with the mixture/dough.
When you are done making all thees steps, you are done making the mixture, the next 12 steps will demonstrate you how to cook the arepa.
(The secret for a good arepa is turning it only one time and letting it cook for the exact time so that cheese on the inside will melt and the dough is well cooked, as you can see on the pictures that say step 19 and step 22 the timer is set for 5 minutes on each side of the arepa, I would recommend you to leave it 7 minutes on each side because getting the right term is really complicated, as you get better on doing the arepa you will find the perfect term for you.)
Once the mixture is done, put it in a greased pan so that the arepa doesn't stick and let it sit for about 30 seconds so that the mixture evenly spreads thought the pan. Following, turn on your stove in low heat and put the pan, cover the pan with the lid and start you 5/7 minute timer. Once it rings check on the arepa and turn it over, repeat the same procedure, but this time when it rings turn off you stove and serve the arepa. You can see more about serving and storing the arepa for later in steps 4 and step 5.
Step 4: Sharing Is Caring
If you are hosting an event like a brunch or something similar, look no further, this is the perfect plate for you and your guests. One serving suggestion I really enjoy, is to cut the arepa into 8 pieces and put it in a bowl with a tasty center of strawberry jam.
There are infinity of servings that can be made, so start your imagination, create a nice, pretty serving suggestion and send me a picture to firstname.lastname@example.org
I would love to see what you do :)
Step 5: Saving It for Later
To pack your arepa, I recommend you to cut it into 8 bite size pieces, fold in aluminum foil and store it in the fridge (approx. 37 degrees Fahrenheit), it will remain fresh for about three days, after that it will become hard, I really don't recommend you to eat it after 5 days because it will be bad.
Once the arepa was already on the fridge, to eat it you will have unwrap it from the aluminum foil and microwave it for abut 20 seconds. Another way to eat the arepa is cold, the flavors don't change, it is just your preference. For even tastier results, as I said in the last step, serve with a table spoon of strawberry jam.
Step 6: Enjoy (;
I am really pleased to have taught you today how to make an arepa, I would love to see what you guys make, also I would love for you to leave some suggestion to improve the recipe and tips for other people searching the perfect recipe.
As you may or may not know, this recipe will be on the Snacks Contest - MunchPak (https://www.instructables.com/contest/snacks2016/) it would really mean a lot, if you guys could vote for me and recommend/share the recipe!
Nicolas Gomez Solano