There are many ways to prepare this cheesy version of traditional arepas. In some parts of South America, regular arepas are split in half and stuffed with cheese. This version has the cheese mixed into the dough, making them a little richer than plain arepas and quite delicious. Be sure to use the special precooked corn flour called masarepa. Yellow corn meal works in a pinch, but they won't taste quite the same. For an extra treat, sandwich 2 arepas around a slice of cheese and place the arepa "sandwich" on an oiled griddle until cheese has melted.
Prep Time: 45 minutes
Cook Time: 10 minutes
Total Time: 55 minutes
- 1 cup arepa flour (masarepa)
- 1 cup hot water
- 2 tablespoons butter, softened
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1 egg yolk
- 8 ounces grated white farmer's cheese (or mozzarella, gouda, or edam)
- 2 tablespoons butter or vegetable oil for cooking the arepas
- Mix the arepa flour with the salt. Add the hot water and stir until well mixed. Cover with plastic wrap and let rest for 10 to 15 minutes.
- Stir the egg yolk and butter into the dough. Turn dough out onto counter and knead grated cheese into the dough until well blended.
- Separate the dough into 10 pieces, and roll each piece into a ball.
- Place ball of dough between 2 pieces of plastic wrap and flatten with the bottom of a pot until they are about 3 1/2 inches in diameter and 1/2 inch thick.
- Melt a half tablespoon of butter in a heavy skillet (ideally cast iron) and cook arepas in batches, adding more butter if necessary. They should cook about 5 minutes on each side, so that the outside is dry and crusted, and the inside is creamy and soft.
- Serve hot, with butter or cream cheese.