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Arepas! Three ways…

The elusive arepa. They are not hard to make at home and you don’t need any special equipment. Here’s how to do it:

 

 

 

Ingredients

1 cup PAN – Pre-cooked cornmeal
(sold in the ethnic section in Publix and other stores in a yellow package)
1 cup finely shredded Mexican-style cheese
9 oz milk
generous pinch of sea salt
2 TB canola or vegetable oil
shredded chicken (see below)
lobster meat (see below)
shredded pork (see below)

Extra ingredients for chicken and pork (pork takes a while to cook see below)
1 15 oz can of black beans or you can boil your own dry beans
1/3 green pepper, cut in 1/4″ dice
1/2 TB oilive oil
1/2 tsp oregano
salt to taste
1/4 tsp cumin
1 small container sour cream
one lime
1 cup shredded Mexican-style cheese
4 tomatillos
1 tsp cilantro
1/2 jalapeno, finely chopped

Extra ingredients for lobster
1 tsp fresh, finely chopped tarragon
2 TB mayo or make your own
1 TB finely diced celery
salt and pepper to taste

Method

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. In a medium bowl, combine the PAN with the cheese and salt. Add the milk and allow to sit for a few minutes. Form the arepas into four large patties, the size of English muffins. In a large frying pan over medium-high heat, add the oil. Fry the arepas until golden on both sides then put into the oven for 12-15 minutes. Watch them! When they are firm to the touch they are done.

Chicken – Method (see separate ingredient list above)

You can make my roast chicken recipe here (eliminate the 40 cloves and the croutons): blog.elizabethdougherty.com/2010/04/20/roasted-chicken-with-forty-cloves-of-garlic-and-baguette-croutons-yes-forty-cloves.aspx or you can buy a rotisserie chicken for this.
Shred the chicken. Take the skins off the tomatillos and roast at 400 degrees F until soft. While that is happening, saute the green pepper in the oil, add the black beans, oregano, cumin and salt to taste. Bring to a simmer and it’s done. Combine tomatillos in a food processor with the juice of half a lime, cilantro, jalapeno and salt to taste. To the sour cream, add the rest of the juice of the lime. Cut open the arepa (not all the way, add some shredded chicken, tomatillo salsa, black beans, some shredded cheese and a little bit of the lime sour cream.

Pork – Method

Roughly chop one onion and put it in a crock pot (you can also do this in an oven at 300 F in a roasting pan, but it will not be as moist).
Add a pork butt (or shoulder), 1 tsp of dried oregano, 1 cup of orange juice, 1 cup of chicken stock, 2 tsp sea salt, 1/2 tsp black pepper and 1/2 tsp of cumin. If the liquid doesn’t come up 3/4 of the way in the crock pot, add more orange juice. You won’t be able to add enough for the roasting pan, so stick with the 1 cup orange juice/1 cup stock. Cook in the crock pot for about 8 hours or the oven for at least 6 hours or until a thermometer reads 170 degrees F. Shred the pork. Make the black beans and sour cream detailed under chicken arepas. Cut open an arepa, not all the way. Stuff with some pork, black beans, shredded cheese and a little sour cream.

Lobster – Method

Boil lobster for 10 minutes (no longer or it will be tough). Let cool and chop the lobster meat into bite-sized pieces. Combine with the mayo, tarragon and celery. Check for seasoning. Cut open an arepa and stuff with this yummy goodness.

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