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Breads, Sides

Cheese arepas

Cheese arepas
Los Angeles Times

Griddle cakes are elemental. Like porridge and roasted meat, they're ancient preparations, seemingly slapped together at the fireside for as long as humans have gathered around that fire to eat. But in cooking, elemental never means unchanging. Corn griddle cakes, ... Read more

Total time: 1 hour, 15 minutes | Makes about 40 (3-inch) arepas
  • 3 cups arepa masa
  • 1/4 cup finely crumbled queso fresco
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 3 cups water
  • 2 cups milk
  • 1/4 cup butter

Step 1Combine the arepa masa, cheese and salt in a bowl.

Step 2Combine the water, milk and butter in a saucepan and bring to a boil. Remove from heat and cool until just warm enough to touch.

Step 3Add a little of the warm milk mixture to the masa mixture and knead to mix. Add a little more liquid and knead again, continuing until you have incorporated all the liquid and the mixtures have combined to make a dough.

Step 4To make the arepas, take a scant one-fourth cup dough, form into a ball and pat out between the palms of your hands like a tortilla, and to about the same thickness. Or cut a resealable plastic bag in half to make 2 plastic sheets. Place a ball of dough on one plastic sheet, cover with the other sheet and press flat with a rolling pin or a round object such as a flat-bottomed can. The arepas should be about 3 inches in diameter. Place them on a baking sheet and cover with a damp cloth until ready to cook.

Step 5Heat an ungreased seasoned griddle or nonstick skillet and cook the arepas 2 to 3 minutes on each side until lightly golden brown. Serve immediately, with butter if desired.

Note: From Maricarmen Rodriguez of Posh on Pico. Arepa masa is available at selected Latino markets. It may be labeled masa arepa, areparina or harina de pan.

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