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Cheese-Stuffed Arepas with Hogao Sauce

Recipes

Ingredients:

Sauce: – 2 1/2 tablespoons vegetable oil – 2 cups 1/4-inch diced tomatoes (about 1 pound) – 1/2 cup thinly sliced scallions (white part only) (about 8) – 2 cloves garlic, minced – 1 teaspoon ground cumin – 1 teaspoon salt, or more to taste Arepas: – 2 1/4 cups masarepa (see note) – 1 teaspoon salt – 2 1/2 cups lukewarm water – One 10-ounce Real California Oaxaca or 8 to 10 ounces mozzarella cheese, sliced – 1 tablespoon vegetable oil

Directions:

Prep time: 20 minutes

Cook time: 40 minutes

To make the sauce: In a small saucepan over medium heat, warm oil. Add tomatoes, scallions, garlic, cumin, and salt and cook, stirring occasionally, until juices have thickened and scallions are tender, about 10 minutes. Reduce to a simmer and continue to cook, stirring occasionally, until thickened to consistency of a loose jam, about 15 minutes. Set aside to cool to room temperature, then add more salt to taste.

To make the arepas: In a large bowl, combine masarepa and salt. Add water and mix with hands until dough is smooth and no longer sticks, about 5 minutes. Divide dough into 16 pieces, roll each piece into a ball, then flatten balls into 1/4-inch-thick patties. Arrange cheese on 8 patties, cutting or tearing slices to fit and leaving 1/4-inch of dough around edges. Top with remaining 8 patties, pinching edges closed.

In a large nonstick skillet over medium-low heat, warm oil. Working in batches, cook arepas until golden brown, about 5 minutes per side.

Serve arepas hot with sauce on the side. Serves 4 to 6.

Note: Masarepa is pre-cooked corn meal, and also known as arepa flour, harina, harina precocida, and pre-cooked corn or maize meal. Look for it in the ethnic section of your supermarket, at Latin markets, and online.

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