Today is the last installment in the P.A.N. cornmeal series. I’ve shown you guys how to prepare Mexican lasagna (which if you haven’t made this recipe, you should seriously consider it), cornmeal muffins (in a brunch setting), and now a great way to substitute arepas for bread in everyday sandwiches. A and I love breakfast sandwiches – you know, the ones that are stuffed with eggs, bacon, maybe cheese and topped with a big fat bagel or a buttery croissant. We’re not picky. I’m not sure why it never occurred to me before but using arepas in place of the bagel/croissant is a great way to still enjoy a great sandwich without feeling the effects of gluten.
Arepas are surprisingly quite easy to make. Rewind – what are arepas? Arepas are basically Venezuelan muffins – think English muffins. They are crispy on the outside, slightly chewy on the inside and made solely with cornmeal and water and salt. Literally three ingredients. Some people add a little bit of oil. I didn’t. Their versatility is astounding – you can substitute them in any sandwich and they take all of 30 minutes to make, including cooking times. In fact, I’m surprised we haven’t see them pop up more often throughout the US considering our love for sandwiches and now gluten-free eating.
This venture into Venezuelan-based cooking has been a ton of fun. I’ve learned a lot and I hope it’s given you some inspiration to go out and grab a bag of cornmeal and see what you can do with it. You can find P.A.N. in Latin American stores so be sure to keep an eye for that bright yellow package. If you’re curious what kind of authentic Venezuelan recipes are out there, be sure to check out P.A.N.‘s tumblr page and use the #PANfan.