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Let's Cook With Viki: Arepas!

In celebration of all our new telenovelas, we decided to make a Latin American dish called “arepas” — a type of corn griddle cake. (If you’ve ever had pupusas or gorditas, these will be familiar to you!)

Before we start cooking, let’s check out of some of our sexy new telenovelas to get us in the mood!

Eva Luna

A young woman’s road to happiness is paved by heartaches and tragedies created by a manipulative wealthy family in this remake of the 1997 Telemundo telenovela “Aquamarina.”

Wild Cat

In this telenovela, a simple ranch laborer falls in love with her boss’ son, but can they survive the tumultuous challenges that threaten their relationship?

Watch the trailer below:

OK, now that we’re in the right frame of mind, let’s get cooking! And as always, the first thing you need to do is to make sure your work station is clean and your hands are washed!

Ready to cook? Here’s what you need:

For the arepas:
  • 2 3/4 cups of maserpa flour (pre-cooked ground corn flour; please note that Western corn flour or polenta will not work, as they are processed differently)
  • 2 tablespoons of melted butter
  • 1 teaspoon of salt
  • 2 1/2 cups of hot water

Mix all of the ingredients together, until they form a dry dough-like consistency. If the batter is too thick and dry, add some more water. If it is too wet, add more flour  just be sure to adjust the butter and salt as needed as well!

Once the ingredients are mixed, form small dough balls, about an inch and a half in diameter. After that, press it in between your hands until it forms a disc about a quarter inch thick. Be careful not to over-handle your dough or it will become tough and gooey when you cook them!

To cook the arepas, simply pan fry on each side until golden brown, preferably in about a tablespoon of butter or a very light splash of olive oil (this helps enhance the golden brown color). Once done, take  out of the pan and serve while hot!

We chose to serve our arepas with some salsa and grilled skirt steak, but you could easily add other types of meats, vegetables and some queso fresco!

The arepas were fun to make, and it was a very engaging food to make with friends. The only suggestion I have is that you take your time and be careful when cooking them. If the arepas cook too quickly, the outsides turn brown before the insides cook! Make them too small, and the arepas overcook too easily. So just be careful and remember to have fun while making this dish!

For our salsa recipe, check this out:

Yummy Simple Salsa

  • 1 jalapeño (be sure to slice and scrape out the seeds!)
  • 2 habanero peppers  (to reduce the heat, scrape out the seeds or use less peppers)
  • 4-5 large red tomatoes
  • 1 clove of garlic
*Also note, in some cases jalapeños and habanero peppers can leave a "burning" sensation on hands due to the oils in the peppers - wear gloves to prevent this!

Roast everything in a pan or directly in the fire. Add some salt and a spoonful of vinegar to the mixture, blend well and serve chilled.

Enjoy this week’s recipe? Let us know what you thought, and feel free to make suggestions for what to make next time!

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