Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Cream Cheese Arepas and the Machine

When I first discovered arepas on a trip to New York City last year, it was love at first bite. I couldn't wait to get back to San Francisco, find some P.A.N. arepas flour, and make a batch or two, which I did in this post.

Since it was my first attempt, I used the classic water, salt, white cornmeal mix to delicious effect. As I read more about arepas, I saw there were hundreds of variations, using all sorts of combinations of milk, cheese, cream, buttermilk, yogurt, etc. I decided I wanted to try a breakfast version made with cream cheese and milk, topped with butter and honey. Unfortunately, I never did.

So, when my friends at Imusa asked me to test their arepas maker, I knew exactly which recipe I'd try. As you'll see, this machine was very easy to use, and produced some fine arepas (even though my dough was a tad dry and cracked a little – and to paraphrase the great Whitney Houston, when it comes to arepas perfection, cracks are wack).

If you don't use a specially made grill for these, worry not; they would come out fine using a pan as I did in the original video. If you want more info about this particular model arepas maker, please check out this Imusa product link. Also, if you can't find the P.A.N. arepas flour in a store near you, follow this link to purchase online.

On a side note; I have to admit, as I was using the machine, I kept daydreaming about doing burgers and eggs with it as well. So, don't be surprised if you see this machine appear in future videos with alternative recipes. Enjoy!

UPDATE! As viewer AFB just brilliantly pointed out, you can certainly just place your dough balls in the maker and let it press them down into patties for you. This is, of course, the main advantages of using this machine! I like the smoother edges hand-shaping provides, and I did make sure they were thicker than the press is deep, so that both sides are in contact. I may do an updated test to see how this faster and more traditional use of the press works.

Cream Cheese Arepas Ingredients (makes 4):
1/2 teaspoon salt
3/4 cup milk
1/4 cup softened cream cheese
1 tsp sugar
1 cup P.A.N. arepas flour

Note: This video was made possible by Imusa, and the arepas maker was provided free of charge to test.

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