Carrot and Gruyere Arepas with Slices of Melted Brie
Take pre-cooked corn meal powder, such as the yellow package of PAN corn meal and mix with enough water to form a wet, moist dough that will not take form until sits for about 15 minutes.
Add a pinch of salt
Once the dough is pliable, and will take the shape of a ball but still be moist, add 1/2 cup or more of grated Gruyere cheese and about 1/2 cup of fresh grated carrots.
With your hands form small balls and flatten into the size of small to miniature pancakes, I like them thick, but traditional Colombian cooking usually flattens them out to more of a crepe size arepa that’s a bit more crunchy.
Heat a skillet with enough butter or vegetable oil (butter is much better for this recipe) over medium heat just below temperature where the butter isn’t spitting all over, you are looking for light golden brown on each side, a bit crunchy not burnt and fried all the way through.
Add a dollop or small smidge of brie on top of arepa once cooked and let melt before serving. So delicious.
Professional restaurants and my Spanish friends have the George Forman of arepa makers that make them perfect sizes each time for a hearty meal. I don’t mind the variations in size, I make tiny one’s that fit nicely in my toddlers hand and larger arepas for the adults.
Top with Sour Cream, butter or just eat as is.
This is an easy, traditional Spanish arepa recipe that a good Venezuelan mother taught me 5 years ago. She stressed the simplicity but,I like to make things more complicated in the kitchen and make a mess with various flavors. I have been working with lots of different cheeses to embed inside my Arepa patties, and so far here are my personal favorites which enhance the corn itself the best: