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Turkey Arepas

Photo: John Autry; Styling: Leigh Ann Ross
Yield 6 servings (serving size: 2 filled arepas)
Arepas are corn cakes popular in Latin American countries. Look for arepa flour in the international food section of large supermarkets or in an ethnic market. Don't substitute masa harina or cornmeal for the arepa flour, which is precooked. Store the flour in an airtight container in your freezer to extend its shelf life.

Ingredients

  • 7.5 ounces (1 1/2 cups) yellow arepa flour (such as P.A.N. or masarepa)
  • 1 teaspoon salt, divided
  • 2 cups hot water
  • 2 tablespoons canola oil, divided
  • 1 cup finely chopped onion
  • 1 cup finely chopped green bell pepper
  • 2 teaspoons minced seeded jalapeño pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon cumin seeds
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 2 cups chopped leftover cooked turkey breast
  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/3 cup (3 ounces) shredded reduced-fat sharp white cheddar cheese

Nutrition Information

  • calories 282
  • fat 10.4 g
  • satfat 3 g
  • monofat 3.3 g
  • polyfat 2.3 g
  • protein 20.8 g
  • carbohydrate 26.5 g
  • fiber 4.8 g
  • cholesterol 42 mg
  • iron 3 mg
  • sodium 547 mg
  • calcium 162 mg

How to Make It

  1. Preheat oven to 400°.

  2. Weigh or lightly spoon flour into dry measuring cups; level with a knife. Combine flour and 1/2 teaspoon salt; stir well. Add 2 cups hot water; stir until well combined and smooth. Let stand 10 minutes. Divide dough into 12 equal portions, shaping each into a ball. (Dough should be moist.) Working with 1 portion at a time, roll each portion into a 3-inch circle (about 1/2 inch thick).

  3. Heat 1 1/2 teaspoons canola oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Add 6 arepas to pan; cook 2 minutes on each side or until browned and crisp. Place on a baking sheet. Repeat procedure with 1 1/2 teaspoons oil and remaining arepas. Bake at 400° for 20 minutes or until arepas sound hollow when lightly tapped.

  4. Heat remaining 1 tablespoon oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium heat. Add onion and bell pepper; cook 5 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add jalapeño, cumin seeds, and garlic; cook 2 minutes, stirring occasionally. Stir in remaining 1/2 teaspoon salt, turkey, cilantro, and black pepper; cook 1 minute. Remove from heat; stir in cheese.

  5. Remove arepas from oven; let stand 2 minutes. Cut a 3-inch pocket in the side of each arepa; spoon turkey mixture into arepas.