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Arepas

Arepa flour is a pre-cooked corn flour sold in Latin American groceries as masarepa or farina P.A.N. Do not confuse it with masa harina.

Makes 5

2 cups white arepa flour

1 teaspoon salt

2 1/2 cups warm water

1 teaspoon canola oil

1. Set the oven at 375 degrees.

2. In a medium bowl combine the flour and salt.

3. Pour in the water and mix with a spoon or your fingers until the dough comes together. Drizzle the dough with canola oil, cover with plastic wrap, and leave to rest for 5 minutes.

4. Remove dough from the bowl and knead it on a clean surface. The dough will feel lees grainy as it absorbs the water. If it feels too dry, add more water, 1 teaspoon at a time. Knead the dough for 5 minutes or until it is very smooth, still moist, and no longer sticky. Form the dough into 5 disks, each about 3 inches in diameter and 1/2-inch thick.

5. Heat a heavy grill pan or cast iron skillet over medium heat. Add the arepas and cook them for 5 minutes on a side or until they form deep grill marks or a light golden crust.

6. Place arepas on an ungreased baking sheet and transfer to the oven. Bake them for 20 minutes or until they make a hollow sound when tapped. Open a slit in one side of the arepa to make a pocket.

7. Remove some of the soft inside of the arepas. Fill with beans, meat, cheese, plantains, avocado, scrambled eggs, or anything you might put inside a sandwich. Adapted from Carlos Rodriguez

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