sweet corn arepas on a grey plate

Make the Most of Corn Season with These Sweet Corn Arepas

Sweet corn arepas, or chocolo arepas, are sweet and cheesy. I lean toward adding both queso fresco and Manchego cheese to the dough for a more interesting taste, rather than mozzarella. But I leave it up to you… The key is to get your griddle very hot so that a nice crusty outer layer forms. In my desire to make this a full meal — breakfast for dinner, that is—I toss together a tomato and avocado salad to cut through the richness.

sweet corn arepas on a grey plate

Sweet Corn Arepas

Prep Time: 15 minutes
Rest Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 20 minutes
Total Time: 50 minutes
Servings: 4

Ingredients:

Arepas
1 cup sweet yellow corn kernels
1 cup pre-cooked yellow cornmeal or Masa Arepa
3 tablespoons sugar
¼ cup all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1 cup quesito or fresh ricotta cheese
½ cup grated Manchego or Parmesan cheese
3 tablespoons butter, melted, plus 2 tablespoons
¾ cup 2% milk

Raw Tomato & Avocado Salad
2 cups ripe cherry tomatoes, halved crosswise
2 Hass avocados, pitted, peeled, and cubed
Juice of 1 lemon
1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
Flaky salt and freshly ground black pepper

To serve
4 ounces quesito or queso fresco, crumbled
½ cup cilantro leaves

Directions:

1. Grind the corn in a food processor until the kernels break apart and the mixture is smooth. Transfer the ground corn to a large bowl and add the cornmeal, sugar, flour, baking powder, salt, the ricotta cheese, and Manchego cheese. Using a wooden spoon, mix the ingredients to combine. Add the 3 tablespoons butter and the milk and stir until the mixture comes together. Do not overmix. In the beginning, your mixture will look like a very loose pancake batter. Don’t fret, the cornmeal will take a few minutes to absorb
the liquid and achieve a better consistency. Allow the dough to rest for 10 to 15 minutes.

2. Meanwhile, prepare the raw tomato and avocado salad: In a medium bowl, combine the tomatoes and avocados. Add the lemon juice and olive oil and toss to combine. Season with salt and pepper to taste.

3. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper and set aside.

4. Preheat a large cast-iron skillet or griddle over medium-high heat. Melt the 2 tablespoons butter until bubbles form. Measure ½ cup of the batter and pour into the pan — pancake style. You can fry the arepas 2 at a time or more, depending on the size of your skillet. Do not crowd the skillet. Cook the arepas until golden brown, 2 to 3 minutes per side. You may need to turn down the heat as you go so that the pan doesn’t get too hot from batch to batch. Place the finished arepas on the baking sheet and keep warm in the oven. Repeat with the remaining batter.

5. To serve, plate each arepa and top with a spoonful of the tomato and avocado salad, the crumbled quesito, and cilantro leaves

From the book COLOMBIANA by Mariana Velásquez Villegas. Copyright © 2021 by Mariana Velásquez Villegas. Published by Harper Wave, an imprint of HarperCollins Publishers. Reprinted by permission. Photos by Gentl & Hyer.

COLOMBIANA: A Rediscovery of Recipes and Rituals from the Soul of Colombia, Amazon, $40.

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