After eating at Caracas Arepas, I had a much better idea of how the arepas were supposed to look and taste like. Thank you to Karla's friend Oscar (who is Venezuelan) for the arepas flour, which is pre-cooked cornmeal. Oscar was kind enough to give me some after I had complained to Karla that I couldn't find any in Hong Kong. I followed an easy generic recipe that I had found online and the results were fantastic.
Play around with your choice of stuffing; while it is traditional to stuff your arepas with pulled pork, beans, plantains and rice, I used shredded lamb shank that I had braised in red wine, pomegranate molasses and maple syrup; sliced avocados; roasted cherry tomatoes; leftover Raita (made from Greek yogurt) from the night before; leftover cannellini bean hummus; canned corn; sauteed spinach and crumbled feta.
Our dinner plates were so vibrant and colorful, much like the Latin culture, and it was such a pleasure to eat the arepas. I've always wanted to visit South America, so making this Venezeulan-inspired meal brings me a little closer to that goal and opens my window of my imagination into what I'd be eating if I were there.
2 1/2 cup Arepas Flour
2 3/4 cup hot water
1 teaspoons salt
2 tablespoons melted butter
Stir salt into arepas flour.
Pour hot water over flour and mix well, then stir in melted butter. Cover dough for 15 minutes with seran wrap.
Shape dough into balls then flatten into round patties. Fry in pan until lightly brown but not golden, about 5 minutes per side. The outside should have a crispy surface while the inside will be bready. The recipe for the lamb is here.