Monday, June 13, 2016

Arepas con Queso

This past weekend was one full of tragedy. It sucks that there are people in this world that are so hateful, so dissatisfied with themselves, so bored that they need to go out and make everyone else just as miserable as they are. It's horrifying and disgusting and I really don't get it. Seriously dude, go get a hobby. I hate that there is hate in the world. And yet, life has to move on. On the positive side, I am really appreciating the love, the togetherness, the bonding, the love that is radiating amongst those of us who have hearts.

As I said, life has to move on. So, I'll stop attempting to be pensieve and meaningful. I'm just here to share some more food today. Food: the universal comforter.

I had planned on using the leftover carnitas and guajillo salsa as a filling for tacos. Instead, I ended up using them as a topping for arepas con queso. I got the idea after my Colombian coworker mentioned how her family back home spent Mother's Day making arepas. Of course, her mother would make the fresh corn masa from scratch. I went for premade dried stuff, but it still turned out delicious so no harm, no foul.
Ingredients [yields 8 arepas]:
3 cups masarepa
½ cup corn kernels, minced
1 cup crumbled queso fresco
1 teaspoon salt
2 to 2½ cups chicken stock
1 tablespoon canola oil
2 cups grated mozzarella
+ butter for frying
+ toppings

Start by warming up some stock, just until simmering.
Grab a large bowl and add in the masa and crumble in the queso. Add the corn and salt and stir together to combine. Slowly pour in the stock and gently mix together until a moist dough forms. The dough should be v. soft but not sticky.
Set the dough aside for 10 minutes. Meanwhile, grate the mozzarella.
Portion the dough into 3 tablespoon-sized portions. Flatten into circles. Pile a generous amount of cheese onto one of the rounds, top with a second, and then pinch the edges together to seal the cheese inside. Repeat with the remaining dough; this recipe will yield about 8 arepas.
Heat a griddle over medium and melt in some butter. Fry the arepas until golden brown, about 4 minutes on each side. As you're cooking the arepas in batches, keep them warm in a 350F oven.
The arepas can be eaten plain but I like to top them. This time, I went for carnitas, some fried peppers and onions, guajillo chile sauce, crumbled queso fresco, and chopped cilantro.
The arepas are full of corn flavor and the cheese filling is gooey and stretchy and awesome. The exterior is awesomely crispy, the interior is soft, and it's a great platform for any plethora of fillings. We also had some fried plantains and guacamole and lots of sliced jalapenos.
Here's the recipe page:

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