Arepas – Corn & Cheese Pancakes
When I was younger, we used to have Peruvian friends who would invite us to their house to have supper, and they made us Arepas – corn and cheese pancakes. They added little bits of queso fresco to their batter before cooking, and I have made them that way ever since they taught me how to make them all those years ago! We also made these as a part of the themed dinner for my parent’s 32nd-anniversary dinner, where each course had a peach element. Check out the full blog for the rest of the menu and recipes here.
- 2 c Masa Arepa Flour (corn flour) or Masa Precocida (Precooked corn flour for arepas)
- 2 c Queso fresco*, crumbled into small bits
- 4 tbsp. Water
- 2 c Water
- 1/2 c Corn or vegetable oil
- 4 tbsp. Sugar
- 1/4 tsp. Salt
- Start by mixing the arepa flour, cheese, sugar, 4 tbsp. of water, and 1/4 tsp. salt in a bowl.
- Pour in 2 cups of water and mix with ingredients until the water is just incorporated. Let stand for 1-2 mins until water is absorbed and a soft dough forms (dough should feel and look like play dough at this stage).
- Take 3 tbsp. of dough and create a ball in your hand, flattening between your palms. Gently press to form a 1/4" thick patty and repeat process with remaining dough. Keep patties under a damp paper towel so they don't dry out while waiting to be fried.
- Heat oil of choice above in a large saute pan on medium-low heat and fry in batches (4-5 arepas in the pan per batch, depending on the size of your saute pan).
- When the pancakes are golden brown, flip them over only once. Once both sides are golden brown, they're ready to remove from the pan. Take the pancakes out and drain the oil by placing them on a heat-safe plate on top of 2-3 layered paper towels.
- Can be served with butter and jam of your choice, fresh dips or salsas, guacamole, taco ingredients, or with coffee!
- *For another option instead of queso fresco, try a mild, crumbly ricotta-type cheese made from goat or sheep's milk.
- They keep in a plastic bag or airtight container for up to two weeks in the fridge. To re-warm, toasting them lightly in a toaster (if skinny enough), or warming them up in the oven for 5-10 mins at the lowest oven temperature (around 200*F) is much better than microwaving them!