Cheese-filled arepas topped with tomato and yellow pepper salsa – Revisiting a delicious recipe

Corn, Dairy, Dip, Latin American, Peppers, Sandwich, Snack, Tomato, Vegetarian

Cheese-filled arepas with tomato and yellow pepper salsa

Hi Fran,

I can’t believe it Feta & Arepa is nearly 4 years old!!!

We have tried and shared so many delicious recipes, that it is easy to forget some of the older ones, which really deserve a second glance – I loved the idea of your Thanksgiving Roundup, to remind us of some of our most delicious discoveries.

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When I woke up hungry this morning, thanks to last night’s light dinner, all I could think about was arepas. But plain arepas were quite not enough frankly, so I remembered your amazing sounding Feta-Filled Arepas, which had previously failed me. I decided today was the day to give them a second chance, now that I had understood their essence and temperament of arepas better.

Basically, the key for me was that my dough needed nearly a whole cup more water than indicated for the dough to come together and not crumble or break! And the recipe yielded about 20 for me, thanks to the arepa press I got in Colombia, which made each arepa half thin. Unfortunately, I did not have feta at home, so I replaced it with grated mozzarella instead. They were delicious and the cheese melty – but would have been even better with a sharper and saltier cheese like cheddar or, of course, the original feta recommendation.

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Additionally, cheesy fried food after a couple bites is overwhelmingly rich and greasy for me, so I decided to top each arepa it with a fresh, tangy and lightly spicy salsa. It was so delicious we both had seconds (and some went even for thirds 😉 )! Seriously, it was so good.

Cheese-filled Arepas with Tomato and Yellow Pepper Salsa

Makes 20 arepas

Adapted recipe from our original post Feta-Filled Arepas.

INGREDIENTS

Feta-Filled Arepa:

  • 4 cups of masa harina (flour made from corn*)
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 3 1/2 – 3 3/4 cups water
  • 1/2 cup Vegetable Oil + extra for frying
  • 1 1/2 cups of grated or crumbled cheese

Tomato and Yellow Pepper Salsa:

  • 2 large tomatoes diced
  • 1 yellow bell pepper diced
  • 4 spring onions finely sliced
  • 2 garlic cloves minced
  • 1 jalapeño pepper (seeded and and veined) finely chopped
  • 4 tbsp olive oil
  • 2 tbsp white wine vinegar
  • 1 lemon’s juice
  • 1 tbsp oregano
  • salt & pepper to taste

DIRECTIONS:

Tomato and Yellow Pepper Salsa:

Combine all salsa ingredients in a non-reactive bowl and refrigerate while you prepare your arepas, to let the flavors marinate together. At least 30 mins, ideally.

Feta-Filled Arepas:

  1. In a large bowl, mix the masa harina with the baking powder, 1/2 cup of vegetable oil and 3 1/2 cups warm water. Knead the dough several times, then wrap it in plastic and let stand for 15 minutes.
  2. Divide the dough into 40 pieces and flatten each into a 3-inch disk, about 1/8 inch thick. Sprinkle the cheese over 20 of the disks. Top with the remaining disks and press the edges to seal. Gently press the arepas into even patties.
  3. Heat 1/4 inch of oil in a large skillet. Add the arepas, one at a time and cook over moderately high heat, turning once, until golden, 6 to 7 minutes (as I am not a frying expert, I can only manage one at a time without burning them). Drain on paper towels, then serve.

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Combine and Serve:

Place a hot arepa in the center of the plate, and spoon over 3-4 tbsp salsa. Enjoy immediately!

 

Note:

  • If your arepas have become cold, due to slowness of cooking (as was my case), place them in the toaster on the lightest setting – they remain crispy and perfectly heat through!
  • You can also try this recipe with other salsa toppings: Mango Salsa, Green Salsa or Peach Salsa

mango salsa Green Salsa Peach Salsa

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