The day is here my friends. I’m finally putting up the recipe for the delicious arepas that I have been making. Don’t know what an arepa is? Think of it as the Colombian version of a sandwich, kind of like a pita. It’s a bun made out of pre-cooked corn meal and then sliced halfway through and stuffed with tasty fillings. Arepas are eaten for any meal depending on what you fill them with. The filling can be as simple as cheese to as elaborate as what I created because I love all the things.
I started obsessing over arepas after I saw them on some Food Network show, I can’t remember which one. They looked delicious and I was intrigued by how simple it looked to make them. Then Juli over at PaleOMG started posting pictures of the arepas she would get from a food truck in her city. They looked amazing and I was so jealous that she could get these delicacies out of a truck.
Finally after mooning over arepas for months, I decided to see what it would take to actually make them. There are plenty of recipes for them and they really are easy to make. You just need the right flour. It has to be pre-cooked corn flour or these won’t turn out. If you have a large Latin section at your grocery store or better yet an actual Latin grocery store, you can probably find this flour pretty easy. If you can’t you can get it from Amazon and it is fairly inexpensive.
For the filling, I decided to make sausage crumbles out of oatmeal. Hang with me on this one. I saw this idea on a blog awhile ago and while I was skeptical, I gave it a try. It totally had the taste and texture of sausage crumbles. It’s the spices you use that really make a difference. I used the same method from the blog and just changed up the seasonings. I also included a cilantro sauce that I made by just switching the basil with cilantro from my dressing recipe.
It might look like this will take forever to make, but it all comes together pretty easily. So if you want to get in on the awesomeness that is arepas, try out my version!
For the Arepas:
- 2 cups pre-cooked corn meal sometimes called harina de maiz (I used this brand)
- 2 1/2 cups water
- 1 tbsp coconut oil
- 1 tsp salt
- Measure out the water and pour into a large bowl with the coconut oil. Set aside. Mix together the cornmeal and salt.
- Slowly add the cornmeal and salt to the water, using your hand to combine the two and keep lumps from forming. Once all the cornmeal is in the water, keep using your hands and mix everything together well. It will seem like you have too much water and that the dough is too runny. Don’t worry it will thicken up.
- Place a damp paper towel over the dough and let it rest for 10 minutes. Preheat the oven to 350 and line a large baking sheet with parchment paper or Silpat.
- After the 10 minutes is up, remove the paper towel and portion out the dough into about 6 to 8 balls. Roll each portion into a ball and then slightly flatten it out so it roughly resembles a hockey puck. You don’t want them too small and thick because you will be cutting these and stuffing them.
- Heat a large skillet, no oil, over medium heat and cook each side of the arepas for about 2 minutes to seal the dough. Place them back on the baking sheet after you’re done. Once you have sealed all the arepas, place them in the oven and bake for 10 to 15 minutes. They are done when you can tap them and it sounds hollow inside.
- Remove from the oven and let cool for about 10 minutes before you slice them. When you’re ready to fill them, slice only halfway through so it forms a little pocket. Stuff them and then your face!
For the Chipotle Sausage Crumbles:
- 1/2 cup steel cut oats
- 1 cup water
- 2 tbsp tomato paste
- 1 to 2 tsp chipotle powder
- 1/2 tsp onion powder
- 1/2 tsp garlic powder
- 1 tsp smoked paprika
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 1/2 tsp cumin
- 1/2 tsp oregano
- juice of half a lime
- Add oats, water, and tomato paste in a medium saucepan and bring to a boil. Cover the pot, lower to a simmer and cook for 10 minutes.
- Uncover the oats and add in all the seasonings and lime juice. Mix to combine and cook for another 5 minutes. You want most of the water to cook out so you are left with a very thick mixture that resembles cooked ground meat.
- Alternatively, if you want to use ground beef, turkey, or chicken you can cook it as usual and just use the seasonings listed here to flavor it.
For the Cilantro Sauce:
- I just used my basil dressing and substituted cilantro in for the basil.
Yes, it looks like a lot for one meal but once you get the hang of it, it gets a lot easier. You can fill the arepas with whatever you want. Along with the chipotle sausage crumbles, I spread some guacamole on the arepas and made a corn and tomato salsa. You can also try shredded pork, refried beans, rice, or sauteed vegetables. Seriously, give this recipe a try and I promise you won’t regret it!
Have a great weekend everyone and see you on Monday!
Ever had arepas? Tell me where and what you filled it with in the comments!