Cornmeal and warm water are the only two ingredients needed to form arepas, traditional pancakes that are used as a base for savory toppings and served as appetizers. The dough will thicken as it sits, so wait until it does before attempting to form into patties, which can be baked or fried in a bit of oil until golden brown and crispy. These are topped with a seasoned ground meat mixture that includes both sweet and hot peppers.

Ingredients

  • 250 grams pre-cooked corn flour
  • 500 milliliters warm water
  • vegetable oil (optional)
  • olive oil
  • 200 grams ground meat (mixed, beef and pork)
  • 100 grams red pepper (cored and chopped)
  • 100 grams yellow pepper (cored and chopped)
  • 100 grams leek (white part only, chopped)
  • 2 dried chile peppers
  • 2 tablespoons soy sauce
  • 1 tablespoon dried parsley
  • 1 tablespoon dried chives

Directions

  1. Preheat the oven to 200°C (approximately 400°F).
  2. Gradually add flour to warm water and stir well.
  3. Dough may seem slightly runny at first, but becomes firm.
  4. When it does, shape into 6 round portions.
  5. Bake bread in preheated oven for about 30-35 minutes.
  6. You can also fry bread in hot vegetable oil.
  7. While the arepas bake, heat olive oil in a frying pan or wok and fry meat.
  8. Add red and yellow peppers, leek and dried chili peppers.
  9. Before turning off the heat, drizzle with soy sauce and stir in parsley and chives.
  10. Gently open arepas in half lengthwise and stuff with meat and vegetable mixture.
  11. Serve hot.
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