I don’t know about you, but weeknights are an event, timed out almost in military fashion, here in our house. Like a lot of moms, I am a kid shuttle, going here and there Monday through Friday. After a long day of work and playing taxi, I’m ready to settle down and relax… Doesn’t every mom get to relax after a long day? Uh… Yeah… me either…. As moms, we’re expected to be almost super human in our skills and speed. That being said, weeknight meals are made for speed. This recipe is made for us… the “super human” moms that cook at “light speed.”
I first learned of Arepas from one of my best friend’s husbands, from Venezuela. I suppose if I could equate Arepas with a food everyone has heard of, it would be pita pockets.. except, Arepas are made of corn and WAY more delicious than any pita pocket I’ve ever had. Without further adieu, I give you…. wait…. yep…. one of my favorite easy weekday meals; QUICK AND KID FRIENDLY Black Bean and Cheese Arepas!
For the Arepas:
2c Pan Harina (this is a pre-cooked white cornmeal that can be found in most stores that sell
Latin American food, such as a Fiesta)
1t Kosher Salt
4T – 8T of water (depending upon dough moistness)
2T butter, room temperature
Combine Pan Harina & Salt in a large bowl. Add water until your dough is moistened, but not saturated.
Lay a damp towel over the dough for about 2 minutes, then work butter in with your hands (yes, your hands…. you need to feel the texture of the dough)
Work the dough for 2-4 minutes or until dough is not sticky, then turn out onto a non-stick surface and work into a log. Cut into 8 equal pieces and pat those pieces in your hands until they are roughly 3″ in diameter and about 1/2 inch thick.
In a pan with Olive Oil (about 2T), cook the Areapas until a slightly brown crust forms on each side (about 3-4 min. each side). Once done, place them on a cookie sheet in a warm oven (about 200 degrees) until ready to serve.
Cuban Style Black Beans (I love Trader Joe’s, but any Cuban style black bean will work great)
Shredded Colby Jack cheese (to taste)
Cilantro (to taste)
Note: You can really use any filling for the Arepas, but Black Bean & Cheese seems to be the most “kid friendly” in our house! The world is your palette… experiment with your flavors. When you find an amazing combination, please let me know! Until then, I hope you enjoy these!