Street-Fair Arepas with Mozzarella Filling

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45 minutes 4 Servings Print RecipeEmail Recipe


1cupwhole milk
1cupevaporated milk
5tablespoonunsalted butter (cut into small pieces, plus more for brushing)
1 1⁄2cupwhite or yellow arepa flour
1 1⁄4teaspoonsalt
2cupmozzarella cheese, grated
  corn oil for griddle
1⁄4cuppecorino romano cheese, finely grated


Combine the whole and evaporated milk. Place 1-1/2 cups of the milk mixture in a small saucepan over high heat. Bring it to a boil. Pour into a bowl and add the 5 tablespoons of butter, stirring to blend. Reserve and keep warm.

Place the arepa flour, salt, sugar, nutmeg, and 1 cup of the mozzarella in a large bowl. Slowly pour in the hot milk mixture, stirring to blend. Continue pouring and blending until there are no lumps. Knead the mixture for 5 minutes; you may need some extra milk as you do this, and that's what the reserved 1/2 cup of mixed milk is for. After 5 minutes, you should have a smooth, sticky dough.

Roll the dough into a 1/3-inch thick sheet between two pieces of waxed paper. With a cookie cutter or the rim of a glass, cut out the 4-inch circles. Reroll the scraps into a 1/3-inch-thick sheet and cut out more circles. You should end up with 8 circles.

Lightly film a griddle or a large cast-iron skillet with corn oil and place over medium-low heat. Add as many arepas as you can fit in, making sure that they do not touch each other. Cook until arepas are lightly golden on the outside, about 2 minutes per side. Every 30 seconds or so, lift each arepa from the cooking surface with a metal spatula, then lay it back down (they threaten to stick). Remove when done.

When ready to serve, toss the remaining 1 cup of mozzarella with the pecorino Romano. Bruch the arepas with a little butter on both sides. Place 4 arepas (if they fit) back on the griddle or skillet over medium heat. Divide the mozzarella-pecorino mixture evenly over the 4 arepas. Top each arepa with another arepa. Press down on the arepas with a spatula to help melt the cheese. Flip as necessary. Ideally, the cheese filling should melt just as the arepa sandwiches become golden brown on the outside and slightly crusty. Serve immediately.

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