Sunday, March 25, 2012

Arepas de Anis - Fenel Corn cakes

I would like to apologize for not posting much this past week, but I have a really good reason for my lapse. My mother is visiting this week and I have been a little busy showing her around our new neighborhood and around Brooklyn in general because she had not had a chance to do it before. However, this visit of hers will benefit anyone who reads my blog and has been waiting to hear about Colombian food, and arepas in particular.

We made these about two days ago because she remembered that I loved them when I was a child (and because I got the ingredients together before she got here and begged her to show me how to make them). Without further delay here is the recipe:

Arepas de Anis
1 Cup Yellow Corn flour
1 TBSP Sugar
Pinch of salt
1 tsp Fenel Seeds (Crushed in a mortar, Fennel powder will not give you the same effect as the fennel will loose its flavor over time)
1 Cup Warm Milk
1 Cup Warm Water
1 1/2 Cup of Safflower Oil (for frying - you can use another vegetable oil that can handle high temperatures) 

Put your corn flour, sugar and fennel  in a bowl and and mix until well incorporated.

Mix your milk and water in a measuring cup and add this mixture slowly to the corn flour mixture until you have a smooth dough (almost like a short bread dough). You will know when the dough is at the right consistency because it will not be sticky.

Take your dough and form into balls about 2 inch in diameter.

Place these balls into either a layer of saran wrap or a plastic bag on a firm surface and flatten with a cutting board or other hard surface, making disks about 1/4 inch thick. Make a hole at the center of the disk and get ready to fry.

Heat your oil in a deep medium size pot over medium high heat. Test by adding a small piece of dough into the oil. Once the oil is at the right temperature you will see it start to bubble fast around the piece of dough.

Place your corn flour disk into the oil and cook on one side about 5 minutes or until golden and turn over to the other side allowing it to cook for another 5 minutes or until golden. The disks will fluff up a bit which is absolutely perfect. Remove from the oil allowing for a little draining over the pot.

When you remove your disks from the oil place them on a dish lined with paper towels to allow any excess oil to be drawn out.

Allow them to cool and enjoy with either a nice cup of coffee or hot chocolate.

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