Simple Cheesy Arepas (The Gooey Kind)

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READY IN: 40mins
Recipe by the80srule

I've had various tasty arepas before, usually the storebought kind, and I'd always get frustrated because the store by me only sells the ones that are just corn cakes with some cheese in the dough, not the kind I got in my freshman year of college that had the corny, cheesy dough but were chock full of real gooey cheese in the middle! So I looked at few recipes and decided to make my own-- any kind of grated/shredded super-hard cheese will work for the dough, like parmesan, pecorino romano, or even nutritional yeast in a pinch. Manchego is the best to use though. Mozzarella and/or monterey jack are best for the filling, I used mozzarella because I had some to use up. The kind that you cut would also work; 2 cups is an estimate (and kinda an overestimate.)

Ingredients Nutrition

Directions

  1. If you're lazy like me, youll just sift the cornmeal and salt in a bowl together then gradually add the water. If you want a finer-ground texture and/or possess a dishwasher, you'll want to ground the cornmeal and sea salt in a food processor first to get it really fine.
  2. Either way, sift the two ingredients in a bowl together and gradually add the warm water until a stiff dough forms.
  3. Add the manchego cheese and knead for a few minutes, then roll the whole mixture into a giant ball. Add a little more water if you need to if it's falling apart/too crumbly but add more cornmeal if too watery.
  4. Lightly dust a surface (like a sil-pat) with some cornmeal, and place the giant ball on it. Roll out with your hands or a rolling pin to be about 1/4" thick.
  5. You can make the arepas any size, I got about 6 medium size ones out of this. I divided the dough into 6 pieces with a pizza cutter then placed the desired amount of mozzarella cheese into them.
  6. Carefully fold each arepa over, making sure the edges are totally closed. They're supposed to be pretty thin but make sure they're holding up that cheese in the middle. Don't crimp with a fork, it's likely to come apart, just use your hands.
  7. Heat a little olive or canola oil in a frying pan, and cook each arepa for 3-4 minutes on each side until browned.
  8. They're tasty by themselves but I love them with a good black bean soup and basic lettuce and tomato salad. Salsa and red almond dipping sauce make good dips too!

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