Foodie Blogroll

Saturday, July 10, 2010

Arepas and Cheese


I think many of you know how I enjoy reading Erica's blog My Columbian Recipes if you read my blog at all you know I've used some of her ideas. She also uses arepas often in her recipes, and when I knew what I had to look for to make them I was all set. We are lucky in Florida to be able to pick up a lot of Latin food item in our grocery store. I was able to get both kinds of masarepa (pre-cooked corn meal) white and yellow, picked them both up at Sweetbay Supermarket.

Arepas are enjoyed regularly in Columbia and in Venezuela, both claim to be where they originated from. There are a few different ways to make them. Supposedly the Colombian arepas are white corn and are thicker and flattened with a heavy pan, then pan fried. In Venezuela they use the yellow corn and start them in the pan and finish by baking them and they become hollow, and you can stuff them.
I first started off using the white corn masarepa and added some shredded white cheese to the dough. You can see how I served them here with some eggs.

Most of the recipes are pretty basic and you can get it off the bag. Some add oil and butter and sometimes cheese to the mix and other's don't. I use just one cup at a time because we are a small family, and you can always make more. It's better than throwing out any left over (which I hate to do).

For the arepas I made here this is what used:
-1 cup arepa flour
-1 cup warm water
-1/3 cup shredded mozzarella cheese
-2 tablespoons melted butter
-1/2 teaspoon sea salt

Slowly add the water and butter to the flour, cheese and salt until it forms a dough.

Knead it a little and let it rest for 5- 10 minutes. I flattened them with my pizzelle maker and then decided to try to cook them that way. It actually turned out.
Here is what I did to make the arepas with cheese:
-1 cup arepa flour
-1 1/4 cup warm water
-1/2 teaspoon sea salt
-2 tablespoons melted butter (optional)
Pour water into flour, add salt, stir, then knead until it forms a smooth dough. Cover and let it rest 5-10 minutes.
Divide into balls and flatten, wet your hands with water if it's sticky. Place between two sheets of plastic wrap and flatten with the bottom of a pan (cool one of course).

They should be around 3-4 inches wide and 1/3 to 1/2 inch thick. In a cast iron skillet melt a little butter or use olive oil and cook the arepas 3-5 minutes until crusts starts to form and is a nice golden brown on each side.

I had a non-stick skillet already out so I just used that over medium heat.

Remove the arepas from the pan and slice them down the middle to make two halves so you can put the cheese in between them. Use any white cheese that you like. I happened to pick this one up at Whole Foods and thought I'd try it. It is a soft white cheese...oh, just like it says on the label. It was good and the next time I made these my daughter wanted this cheese again.
After you put the cheese inside put them back in the pan until the cheese is nice and melted and it looks the way you want it.

The cheese did ooze out because it was so soft, but we like fried cheese! I sprinkled a little herbs on mine

This is a very hearty breakfast for us and we like it on the weekends. We had it with some fresh fruit on the side. You can eat arepas for lunch stuffed or topped with anything you desire. Think of it as a corn meal patty and all that goes well with that! Anything that would go with polenta or grits or cornbread, it's endless....
Next week I'll make some baked cheese grits so check back for that!

37 comments:

  1. So interesting! They look delicious. I'll have to keep my eyes open for arepa flour. Does that "soft cheese" happen to say what it is exactly? Did it taste like mozzarella? Thanks!

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  2. Hi Betty ray, yes the cheese is Guayanes, it was very mild, like a farmer's cheese. You could definitely use mozzarella, a lot of recipes would call for that. You might be able to find the arepa flour in a Latin market if your grocery store doesn't have it in their Latin section.

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  3. Oh does that ever look good!! All that gooey cheese. Heaven! I'm not sure how hard it would be for me to find the flour here in Toronto but I'm certainly going to try. We do have a Latin section in my local grocery store so fingers crossed.

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  4. This looks delicious! I'll have to try this sometime! Thank you for sharing such an interesting post.

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  5. Hi Lindsey, This look so yummy and thanks for showing us the arepa flour. Wonder I can get this flour here?

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  6. Interesting recipe. I will have to give some though as to what I can use as ingredients as I am sure I will not get the correct ones here. Diane

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  7. Wow look at that! So delicious with all the cheese oozing out..yummy!

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  8. Much better than toast, and the melted cheese makes it look irresistable. This must make a wonderful breakfast!

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  9. Thanks everyone for your comments. I don't mean to post recipes that you have a hard time finding the ingredients. Once I found the arepa flour I use it all the time. I like to learn about, and try different things in different cuisines. I also like to share things that I have eaten all the time that are tried and true, or some recipes that my mom or grandma would make, and might be unfamiliar to you.

    Maybe I should check out our grocer's British section more! lol! :)

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  10. I hope I can find some arepa flour. These look amazing!

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  11. Catherine, I.M. and Ann, -Thanks!

    Brenda, Diane, and Kathleen,- I hope you can find it too! Good luck!

    Cool, and Ana, - Wish I could make some for you!

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  12. The arepas look delicious and I like guayanes cheese it is perfect with arepas.
    Your blog is beautiful.

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  13. Great job making these arepas. They looked cooked to perfection!

    Cheers!

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  14. oooooh, that looks delish! too bad you don't send out samples. :)

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  15. I have never made these, they look fantastic! I'm so going to have to try them out, thanks!

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  16. i have had arepas only once at my office cafe.. they were so tasty.. i had them mentally bookmarked to make at home. i am so glad you posted this detailed recipe with pics now i just hope i find the masarepa.

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  17. Thanks for sharing the recipe. Looks very inviting :)

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  18. I would love to give this a try. I hope I could find some arepa flour too.If you won't mind I'd love to guide Foodista readers to this post.Just add the foodista widget to the end of this post and it's all set, Thanks!

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  19. really delicious one yaarrr...really ur recipe making me hungry dear.

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  20. I have heard of arepas but have never tried to make them but your cheesy version is very tempting!

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  21. avec le fromage qui coule j'en ai, l'eau à la bouche
    très appétissant j'adore
    bonne journée

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  22. These look fantastic! Thanks for sharing this - it's something I had never heard of.

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  23. These look wonderful and great how you can change the ingredients a bit and have a really different taste. Will have to look for the ingredients at my grocery store and give them a try.

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  24. Yum! They look delicious with all of the great gooey cheese! Now you have made me hungry for sure and I will be looking for the flour! Thanks for the recipe!

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  25. Arepas is a complete stranger to me :O

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  26. Thank you Lyndsey for introducing me to something completely new.

    Love how the cheese invites me for a bite ;o)

    Ciao for now and flavourful wishes,
    Claudia

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  27. Oh those look just wonderful - when I get back to FL I am going to get the ingriedents and make some - I think my family will love that!
    Great job :)

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  28. Wow! Something different to try. Thanks for sharing.

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  29. Lyndsey these look so delicious!!!

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  30. This is the recipe Ricepatty was talking about the other day. They do look awesome! Is it similar to the masa in tamales?

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  31. Martha - It is a little different than masa harina I think it's in the processing. This is precooked. I have found it in many of the local grocery stores. Sweetbay has both kinds and has goya brand white and yellow. It's very reasonable and comes in smaller bags. Let me know if you can't find it, I'll get you some. Of course the cheese you can use what you like!

    We should meet at a farmer's market sometime too!

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  32. The round maize loaf is originally of Venezuela but through time and integration between Venezuela and Colombia that traditional food I become popular in Colombia.

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  33. Lyndsey, Hi! I am gluten-free and had gotten a cookbook for Christmas with a recipe for Arepas in it. I checked all the local health food stores for the masarepa with no luck! Looking on-line, I saw Amazon.com and a few others had it but it was so expensive to ship. Still searching, I found it at a Target grocery just in the next town. I bought a 4.4 lb bag, so I will sure be trying this with your sandwich ideas! I have just had an egg, cheese and salsa sandwich so far. Thanks so much for your recipes!

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