You can switch up the cheeses to give it a different flair if you'd like. Pepper Jack is awesome and so is Smoked Gouda. I wouldn't use hard cheeses, as they don't produce the same gooey-ness. You could also make these vegan by subbing the cheese for a rice or soy cheese - just make sure it is a flavor you enjoy and it melts well.
You can make a large batch of these and freeze them individually for a quick breakfast, snack or side. You can pop a frozen arepa in a toaster oven or on a greased skillet and your done. I am definitely going to be making a large batch soon to freeze up, since the baby is due soon. The less I have to prep, the easier.
Arepas con Queso
Cook Time: <10 minutes
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Serves: Makes approx. 8 arepas
- Olive oil spray
- 1 cup extra fine arepa flour (yellow corn meal)
- 1 cup warm water
- 1/2 cup queso blanco, grated
- salt and pepper to taste
- Extra cheese to top (optional)
Preheat a skillet over medium heat. Spray with olive oil.
In a large bowl, mix the flour with the warm water gradually until well incorporated. Let it sit for a few minutes to stiffen up.
While you wait for the dough to stiffen, you can grate the cheese. Then add the grated cheese to the dough mixture and salt & pepper to taste. Knead the dough until well incorporated.
Form the dough into patties. Take about a 1/4 cup of the dough and roll into a ball with your hands. If you want to wet your hands with a little water, to prevent the dough from sticking, you may. Once the mixture is in a ball form, flatten it in the palms of your hands. Make the patties about 1/4 inch thick or less.
Add the patties to the hot skillet and let cook for about 4 minutes or until golden brown on the one side. Then flip and cook for another 4 minutes. Serve immediately, topped with freshly grated queso.