Black Bean and Cheese-Stuffed Arepas
- Prep Time 0:20
- Cook Time 0:10
- 10 Comments
Arepas, little fried cornbread rounds stuffed with a plethora of different fillings, are popular fare in Venezuela and Colombia. My friend Diane has been asking me to make them for quite awhile and this lovely afternoon I finally got around to it.
Feel free to get creative with your fillings. Next time I might add chorizo, sour cream and/or sliced avocado.
Note: Arepa flour is precooked corn flour, not to be confused with masa harina. It is sometimes called masarepa, harina precocida, or masa al instante. Look for it at Latin American grocery stores or well-stocked grocery stores in the Latin foods section.
- 3 1/2 cups arepa flour (see intro) $2.50 for 4 lbs oz.
- pinch of salt Pantry
- 3 cups warm water
- olive or vegetable oil Pantry
- 2 cup canned black beans, drained and mashed with the back of a fork (or used refried black/pinto beans) $1.50 for 15 oz.
- 1/2 cup shredded jack, cheddar or queso blanco cheese $3.50 for 8 oz.
- 1/2 red onion, chopped $0.50 for a whole onion
- 1 handful fresh cilantro leaves $1 for a bunch
- your favorite hot sauce or salsa, optional
Total Cost of Ingredients $9
Mix together arepa flour, salt and water to form a very soft dough.
Spread a little arepa flour on a flat surface and knead the dough lightly for 4-5 minutes.
Wet your hands and form into about 8 3” disks, about 1” thick. Set on a clean plate.
Heat about 1/4” oil in a large frying pan (preferably nonstick) over medium-high heat and fry the arepas for 2-3 minutes on each side, until a crisp crust forms.
Preheat the broiler to high.
Split the arepas in half, as you would an english muffin (gently running a knife along the edges helps). Spread a few spoonfuls of beans on one half and top with a few pinches of cheese.
Place the split-open arepas halves (both the bean-and-cheese-topped ones and the plain ones) under the broiler and toast lightly until the cheese is bubbly and melted.
Top the bean/cheese halves with the chopped onions, cilantro and salsa or hot sauce if desired.
Makes 8 arepas (serves about 4).