By Vanessa Sánchez
Arepas are cornmeal cakes that originated hundreds of years ago in a region that now makes up Colombia, Venezuela, and Panama. Traditionally, they were cooked on a pan called a “budare”. But they can also be grilled, baked, or fried. There are many kinds of Colombian arepas, but they tend to be thin, and stuffed with cheese. This version is a basic salty arepa with cheese.
- 2 cups of pre-cooked corn meal
- 2.5 cups of water
- 1 teaspoon of salt
- 1 tablespoon of butter
- 12 oz of fresh cheese (optional)
- Mix pre-cooked corn meal and salt together in a medium bowl and grate the cheese.
- Gradually stir the water in the bowl over the cornmeal and mix with your fingers until the mixture forms a soft, moist, malleable dough.
- Divide the dough into 10 equal portions. Form small balls and flatten them with your hands into a thin disc about 2 in. in diameter. Slice the discs open lengthwise, to create a pocket, and add the amount of grated cheese of your choice. Close the disc.
- Cook in a griddle or frying pan over medium heat for 5 minutes on each side or until golden brown.
- Serve with chocolate, coffee, or even shredded meat!
Total time: 30 minutes