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Sunday, March 25, 2012

Arepas with Cabbage Slaw

Not sure why, but I've only recently discovered arepas. And boy are they good. Crispy corn pancakes with lots of cheese and shredded meat inside. I alternate between pork and chicken for these, depending on what I have in the fridge. But lots of cheese is key.

2 cups masa harina
1 3/4 plus 2 TB warm water
1 cup shredded pork or chicken
1 cup shredded cheese - preferably a cheddar/jack combo

2 cups finely shredded red cabbage (you can use bagged slaw mix but the red is nice)
1/4 small red onion, very thinly sliced
2 TB red wine vinegar
Cilantro, sliced jalapenos, sour cream and any other toppings you like

1. Mix the masa and water together in a medium bowl to form a soft dough. Cover with plastic wrap and set aside for 15 minutes.

2. In another bowl, toss the cabbage, vinegar and onion together...this gets better the longer it soaks.

3. Mix your shredded meat and shredded cheese in a bowl and set aside.

4. Form the dough into 4 balls and cover with plastic. Working with one ball at a time, flatten the ball on a sheet of plastic wrap to a 7-in round. It should be fairly thin, about 1/4 inch. Spoon some meet and cheese into the center and then bring the dough up around the sides to form a ball with the filling in the middle. Move the dough around or patch up any holes or areas where the meat or cheese are exposed - they'll burn.

5. Then flatten your ball into a 4 inch patty. Repeat with the other three.

6. In a cast iron pan, heat 1/4 inch of vegetable or canola oil on med-high heat until shimmering. Fry up each arepa, one at a time, until they are golden brown and flipping only once. About 5 minutes.

7. Drain on paper towels and then on a wire rack. Top with the slaw, sour cream, salsa, whatever you like!

*These are good hot off the pan but you can also cool them and bake them at 375 in the oven later. Or, freeze them individually in foil and bake at 375 for about 30-45 minutes until crispy again.
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