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2000s Recipes + Menus

Cheese Arepas (Arepas de Queso)

  • Active time:50 min
  • Start to finish:50 min
June 2009
The Colombian and Venezuelan small fried corn cakes called arepas have a distinctive roasty-toasty flavor. They’re fantastic topped with a dollop of almost anything you see on the table.
  • 2 1/2 cups warm water
  • 2 tablespoons salted butter, melted
  • 1 tablespoon sugar
  • 2 cups white arepa flour
  • 1/4 lb coarsely grated queso blanco
  • 1/4 lb grated Parmigiano-Reggiano
  • Stir together water, butter, sugar, and 1 tsp salt in a medium bowl with a wooden spoon. Add arepa flour in a slow stream, stirring. Stir in cheeses, then turn out onto a work surface and knead with your hands until smooth.
  • Heat a 2-burner heavy griddle or a 12- to 14-inch heavy skillet (not nonstick) over medium-low heat until hot. Meanwhile, divide dough into 24 equal pieces and roll into balls, then flatten into 2-inch rounds, covering them with a kitchen towel.
  • Oil griddle and cook half of arepas, turning once, until crusty and golden-brown on both sides, 8 to 10 minutes total. Continue cooking, turning occasionally, until arepas sound hollow when tapped, 18 to 20 minutes more. Cook remaining arepas in same manner.
Cooks’ notes:
  • Arepas are best when freshly made.
  • Dough can be made 1 day ahead and chilled, covered with plastic wrap. Bring to room temperature before using.
  • We also have a Web-exclusive recipe using the leftover arepa flour.