Arepas are delicious corn griddle cakes popular in Colombia and Venezuela. Arepas are prepared with masarepa, a special precooked corn flour. Arepas de choclo are made with fresh corn as well, which gives them a sweet taste. Crumbled queso fresco cheese (similar to farmers cheese) adds a salty contrast.
These arepas make a wonderful breakfast served with a slice of queso fresco on top, or even better – 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 other firm, salted fresh white cheese, like farmers cheese)
Salt to taste
Butter for sauteing arepas
- 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 its 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 its 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 arepas in batches until golded brown and crispy on both sides – about 4 minutes a side.
- Top arepas with a thin slice of farmers cheese while still hot, or place a slice of cheese between two arepas. Serve warm.