See all that cheese? How can anyone resist? With a little guacamole on the side (or stuffed inside), these arepas make a great dinner.
This is it! My favorite arepas recipe so far : ). When Ben and I went to Orinoco for his birthday, we ordered an arepa stuffed with queso de mano. I realized two things: first, Orinoco makes their arepas with white cornmeal, which makes them look really elegant, and second, the CHEESE is the most amazing part. They serve the arepas hot with a big slice of fresh cheese, still cool in the middle. Amazing!
The arepa we had at Orinoco featured homemade Venezuelan cheese, which I couldn’t find. But, I thought fresh mozzarella would be the closest thing. And at the store, I saw burrata, which I’d never tried before. I got it and it was delicious! It’s basically fresh mozzarella with creamy curds in the middle. I tried a piece plain and had to exercise resistance in order to save the rest for the arepas.
Ingredients (makes 6 arepas; serves 2 for dinner or 6 as an appetizer):
1 cup white corn masarepa
1 teaspoon sea salt
1 1/2 cups warm water
Butter for cooking
8 ounces burrata or fresh mozzarella
For the guacamole:
1 ripe avocado, peeled and cubed
Juice of half a lemon, or to taste
1 clove garlic, minced (optional)
2 scallions, sliced
2 tablespoons cilantro, chopped
Salt and pepper to taste
To make the guacamole, combine all the ingredients and mash with a fork. Add more lemon juice, salt, and pepper to taste.
To make the arepas, mix the masarepa, salt, and water in a bowl and let it sit for five minutes. Heat the butter in a heavy skillet over medium-high heat.
Form the dough into patties about four inches across and half an inch thick. When the skillet is very hot, add the arepas and cook until golden brown and blistered on both sides, about 8 minutes per side.
Let the arepas cool for a minute, then slice in half with a sharp knife. Put a thick slice of burrata in between the two halves, and serve hot with guacamole.