Arepa-the Venezuelan "gordita"
Arepas are made from a pre-cooked corn meal that is generally available at Latin food stores in the U.S. It might be hard to find in other parts of the world outside of Colombia and Venezuela. The most popular brand in Venezuela is the Harina PAN, a bright yellow package that is easy to spot in the stores.
I do not measure the water that I add to the corn meal, but I would say that recipe should go something like this:
2 cups corn flour
1 tsp. salt
3? cups of warm water (I think it's about 1 1/2 cups of water per cup of corn meal)
I add the water and then continue to mix the dough for a few minutes since the corn meal tends to soak up the water...sometimes I get it too hard and have to add more water after it's 'set' and that's hard. Anyway, the mix should be somewhat easy to handle, not too sticky and wet, but not so hard that the sides crack when you form the arepas.
Make a ball with the dough, then gradually start flattening the ball to form a cake...I generally just grab a handful and make them all relatively the same size. Fry the arepas on a griddle with a little oil until browned and crispy on both sides.
Colombians eat their arepas with the meal like bread, but Venezuelans cut them open and stuff them with many different kinds of fillings, ranging from butter and cheese to scrambled eggs to beef, pork, or chicken. The arepa in the picture below is stuffed with shredded beef, called 'carne mechada'.
Boil beef (chicken, pork, or other meat could be substituted) and cool, then shred
--For seasoning, add salt, garlic, onion, etc.
Sauté chopped onion, garlic, cilantro, peppers, and tomato in oil
Add the meat and simmer; add a little bit of the beef broth if needed to keep the meat moist
For added seasonings, comino and/or adobo can be used.
Meat cooked this way is also great over rice or to accompany beans!