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