|Nutritional Guidelines (per serving)|
Arepas are delicious corn cakes that are cooked on a griddle. They are very popular in Colombia and Venezuela. Arepas are prepared with a special precooked corn flour called masarepa. Arepas de choclo are made with fresh corn in addition to the masarepa, which gives them a sweeter flavor. Queso fresco cheese (similar to farmer's cheese) adds a salty contrast.
These arepas make a wonderful breakfast served with butter or some cheese. For a more hearty breakfast, serve them with a fried egg and a side of chorizo.
- 1 3/4 cups milk
- 1 1/2 cups fresh corn kernels (from about 3 ears of sweet corn)
- 2 tablespoons butter
- 2 cups masarepa
- 1/2 cup crumbled queso fresco (or another firm, salted fresh white cheese, like farmer's cheese)
- Salt to taste
- 2 tablespoons butter for sautéing arepas
- Garnish: extra cheese for serving
Place the milk and the corn kernels in a blender and pulse briefly until the corn is coarsely ground.
Pour the corn/milk mixture into a saucepan and add the butter. Heat over medium heat until milk just comes to a boil. Remove from heat and let cool for 2 minutes.
Add the masarepa to a large heat resistant bowl. Whisk in the crumbled cheese. Slowly pour the hot milk mixture into the masarepa, stirring with a wooden spoon.
Continue to stir mixture until it's cool enough to handle, then knead gently with your hands until you have a smooth homogenous dough.
Season with salt to taste and knead.
Shape the arepas: take about 1/4 cup of the dough and form it into a ball. Flatten between your palms into a pancake shape, smoothing cracked edges with your fingers. Flatten pancake until it's about 1/3 inch thick and about 4 inches in diameter. Repeat with remaining dough.
Melt a tablespoon of butter in a large skillet over medium-low heat. Cook the arepas in batches until golden brown and crispy on both sides - about 4 minutes a side.
Top the arepas with a thin slice of farmers cheese while still hot, or place a slice of cheese between two arepas. Serve warm.