Monday, 14 September 2009

Arepas with Corn & Cheese

Arepas are the tradtional "bread" of Columbia and Venezuela, and on up into Central America; thick (or thin, depending on where they are from) patties made from pre-cooked cornmeal, and cooked on a griddle or lightly fried. They are often split apart, and filled like sandwiches, likewise other materials are often added and cooked into them. The most commonly available corn meal for these is P.A.N. brand. I'm pretty sure this meal is often used to make pupusas as well.

I bought some in a little take-out restaurant one time, and got talking with the proprietor about them. She was describing how they varied from one location to another; some larger, some smaller, some thicker, some thinner. It gave me the courage to try them myself, and I have gone ahead and developed my own style: thick, uneven and cracked! Never mind, they taste just fine. Even better with corn and cheese added to the batter.

8 arepas
20 minutes prep time

Arepas with Corn and Cheese
100 grams (1/4 pound) feta cheese, crumbled
1 cup arepa meal
2 large cobs of corn
1 cup boiling water
oil to fry

Crumble the cheese into a medium mixing bowl, and add the arepa meal. Mix, and set aside.

Husk the corn, and cut the kernals from the cobs. Scrape the cobs. Put the kernals and scrapings of corn into a food processor or blender. Add the boiling water and process briefly, until blended but still a bit chunky.

Mix the corn and liquid into the meal and cheese. Let the mixture sit for 5 minutes. Meanwhile, cover the bottom of a large skillet generously with oil, and heat over medium-high heat. With wet hands, form the mixture into flat, hamburger shaped (and sized, pretty much) patties and put them in the oil, 3 or 4 or however many fit in the pan. Cook them for about 3 minutes per side, until nicely browned. Keep the finished arepas warm in the oven as you cook the rest of them, adding more oil to the pan as needed.

1 comment:

Joanne said...

My roommate and I discovered arepas last summer when we were trying to "eat the world" around NY. Then we discovered an arepa place in Boston when we went back to school and fell in love all over again. Thanks for this recipe! Now I can recreate one of my favorite dishes at home.