arepas with cheese and corn

September 14, 2009

Top o’ the morning to ya. Sunday was the first day in a while that I have had no real plans and it felt so glorious, I can’t even tell you. It was also a gorgeous late summer day here in Minneapolis…and in our back yard:

We decided to start the day off by having our friend over for a quick brunch before the boys headed out to watch the football. My boy has had his eye on a recipe for Arepas for a while that he saw on The Minimalist blog.

According to Mark Bittman’s description on The Minimalist, “Originally from Venezuela, so it is said, arepas are perhaps best described as cornmeal-based English muffins.” I think this is a fitting description but it should be noted that since these are fried they are really just like corn cakes.

They were utterly delicious so I thought I’d share the process with you!


1 cup yellow cornmeal, finely ground

1/2 teaspoon salt

1/2 cup grated Cheddar or Monterey Jack cheese

1 cup milk

2 tablespoons butter, more for serving, optional

1/2 cup fresh sweet corn kernels, or frozen kernels, thawed

1/4 cup chopped scallion

1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro

1 small serrano or jalapeƱo chili, seeded and minced, optional

3 tablespoons corn, canola, grapeseed or other neutral oil

Cooked black beans or vegetables or sour cream for stuffing, optional.


1. Put cornmeal in a large bowl with salt and cheese. Put milk in a small saucepan over medium-low heat until steam rises, then add butter and stir until melted. Remove from heat and stir into cornmeal mixture until a thick batter is formed. Fold in the corn kernels, scallion, cilantro and chili if using.

2. Let batter rest until it thickens into a soft dough, about 15 minutes. Gently form 3- to 4-inch balls from mixture and flatten with palm of your hand to a 1/2-inch-thick disk. (You can cover and refrigerate disks for a few hours if you like.)

3. Heat oil in a large skillet and cook arepas, working in batches, until golden brown, about 5 minutes, then flip and cook for another 3 minutes on other side. When all arepas are cooked and cool enough to handle, carefully slice them through the middle. If desired, serve with butter or stuff with beans, vegetables or sour cream.

Yield: 8 to 12 arepas.

Honestly, since there was fresh corn in these, they tasted great on their own but we had them with black beans inside:

I liked adding some salsa and wedging mine together into a “burger”. They were also amazing with a slob of Greek yogurt, which tasted like sour cream, plus the black beans and salsa.

Totally rad.

I spent the rest of my luxurious Sunday like so: yoga, iced coffee with soy milk, brown sugar and honey (a true summer obsession), hanging with my boy, buying and collecting a new futon for our new place, budgeting and planning upcoming travels.

Basically, a super productive, fun, relaxing and gorgeous day. Loved it! Bring on the rest of the week!

What is your idea of a perfect end of summer Sunday?
Mine would involve sleeping in, eating a long and luxurious breakfast with lots of coffee or tea, going for a bike ride and grilling.

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{ 37 comments… read them below or add one }

Leianna September 14, 2009 at 11:20 am

Realxing in the am with a great breakfast, a cool run and then watching football with the hubby!
That corn cake recipe looks good, you take really good pictures too!
Have a great Monday!


Dee September 14, 2009 at 11:23 am

oh! i have wanted to try arapas ever since i saw them featured on food network a while back, i looove corn cakes, these just look so yummy!

sunday best = sleeping in until 8, eating bfast with fam, heading up to the orchard to buy apples and produce, stopping by all the craft tables and cider mills, a nice relaxing run in the autumn air, a nice big lunch after a run, and maybe a movie and some popcorn at home, and dinner again with the family :) plus dessert, of course

oh and preferably, it would start sprinkling outside just as i get a little over heated from running hehe


joyofood September 14, 2009 at 11:28 am

I've never heard of arepas, but it looks very tasty. I think my Summer Sunday would be very similar to yours, minus the bike ride (I don't bike)


BTW I've passed on a blog ward to you, check it out here


Evan September 14, 2009 at 11:31 am

Interesting eats! I don't think I've had arepas before. I'm dying to get back in the kitchen after a week in my dorm.

I think my perfect summer day would be hot as hell, only after I run in the cool morning, of course, and involve a really sunny walk and some grilling


melonshots September 14, 2009 at 11:39 am

definatly relaxing.
bubble bath maybe! some leisurely exersice! and cleaning the house. haha :)


Sarah (Finding My Balance) September 14, 2009 at 11:51 am

Mmm, that sounds about perfect for a Minnesota day in September. It is so pretty there in the late summer/early fall.

The corn arepas look very interesting, I'm sure I would like them.

My perfect end-of-summer Sunday?
Hmm, sleeping in, luxurious breakfast, reading at the beach, burgers for dinner, and chatting outside till it gets dark. Now you have me all nostalgic!!


Holly September 14, 2009 at 11:56 am

GLORIOUS day. so jealous, because i spent mine in a car :(

those arepas look bomb…i may need to recreate. planning for upcoming travels? gahhhh, once october hits, i need you to help hold me accountable for saving and NOT spending.

soooooo good to see you this weekend…any news on a house warming? miss you lots love – let's please hang out soon. please budget a trip to madison in there :)


Coco September 14, 2009 at 12:05 pm

mmm arepas sounds fabulous on a late summer day! My ideal late summer day is a relaxing walk, a good book, and some delish brunch food. I love to just soak up the sun while it lasts and enjoy the weather before I have to start bundling up. Not looking forward to that.


Carrie September 14, 2009 at 12:19 pm

Fabulous looking recipe there. I love anything involving corn, so I'll have to give it a try. I'm canning tomatoes and beets next weekend with some friends. Definitely a perfect way to end the summer.


nourishing mornings September 14, 2009 at 12:36 pm

those arepas look so good, i only have had one once, a few years ago, i remember having it at a street fair in Manhattan, near union square i think it was sandwiched between gooey mozzarella cheese, so good!
yours look better though :)

lots of love xo


K from ksgoodeats September 14, 2009 at 12:45 pm

I've never had anything like that but I'm very intrigued! It looks delicious!! Woohoo for upcoming travels – can't wait to see where you're headed :)


brandi September 14, 2009 at 12:52 pm

those arepas look great!

i just like not having ANY plans and being able to decide what we want to do :)


Meredith (Pursuing Balance) September 14, 2009 at 1:10 pm

Oh wow, I used to LOVE arepas! But the ones I've had don't look nearly as good as yours! YUM!


Janetha September 14, 2009 at 1:12 pm

ohh so fancy. those look delicious and your collage looks straight outta a food mag! upcoming travels?! take me with. i am little, i can fit in your pocket. or at least your carry on ;)

perfect sunday=coffee and ice cream, no matter the time of year!

love you long time!


Erin September 14, 2009 at 2:25 pm

What a lovely Sunday.

My dream Sunday would be a big breks, coffee, blog reading, taking Hillary for a walk in the woods, pizza, movie, beer.


Erica September 14, 2009 at 4:47 pm

owwww these look so good! I love cornmeal based creations!!

Perfect end of summer Sunday- laying in the sun :)


glidingcalm September 14, 2009 at 4:58 pm

Those Arepas are so gorgeous! I had never heard of them before, but boy do they look TASTY!!!

Thanks for the recipe!! glad you got to have some rest on Sunday!


Jenny September 14, 2009 at 5:02 pm

I gotta tell ya, I have zippo idea of what an arepa is. What I do know is that they look amazing and I want one now.


ohonemorething September 14, 2009 at 7:17 pm

OH MY GOSH!!! I miss arepas so much. They have the best ones down in this Colombian place down in Florida with queso blanco melted in the middle of the sweet corn cakes. OHH GOSH! Yours look divine. I'm actually having my dad bring them up next time he visits, and I'm freezing those babies.

Your perfect Sunday sounds beautiful. I just want to be outdoors and make simple things to eat.


Jules September 14, 2009 at 8:55 pm

Ooh, those look delicious! Love the "burger" way of eating them. I think my favorite way to end the summer is to go for a nice long swim and then have a nice dinner outside :)


runsrests September 14, 2009 at 10:59 pm

Yay, now I know what arepas are. Looks lovely especially with the beans.
Your Sunday sounds wonderful. I love lazy Sundays – lounging around, baking, biking whenever/wherever I want.


jesslikesithot September 15, 2009 at 12:41 am

Your ideal summer sunday sounds adorable to me!! I also looooove lounging in the mornings with some delicious coffee or tea, a good breakfast and some tv-watching with my mama! THEN, a bike-ride or hike would be amazing too.

And mmm, that corn cake sounds delicious!! I bet green chile salsa would be amazinggg with it! Green chile always tastes amazing with corn!


Low September 15, 2009 at 10:41 am

Wow those look amazing! I love summery things like that for breakfast/brunch!

Perfect sundae is sleeping in then going for a long walk and maybe the farmer's market. Lots of good lazing around is necessary also!


skinny latte September 15, 2009 at 11:00 am

Perfect Sunday – sleeping in while a warm breeze wafts through the open window, a late brunch at my favourite cafe down the road, hanging out in the park in the sun with the Sunday papers or a stack of magazines, yoga, going for a run or a swim, and then lazing in the garden with a jug of Pimm's!

Sadly I think summer is over in the UK now – it is absolutely freezing and POURING at the moment. Brr!! How am I going to make it out of the office alive?! Must think warm thoughts…..


Emily September 15, 2009 at 12:54 pm

well helllooo… my my my a full time job just takes up so much time that i would love to be devoting to reading all of the deliciousness you are providing! those arepas look so unique and wonderful!
i would say my perfect end-of-summer Sunday would be just like the one i had–enjoying Memphis BBQ outside with good beer and good friends..yummm :)


jessica September 15, 2009 at 1:57 pm

I've been reading your blog for a while now and love it. I don't have a blog of my own, but wanted to award you with a blog award here's the link.


Susan September 15, 2009 at 4:57 pm

Ah! I've been wanting to try arepas ever since I saw them on Throwdown on the Food Network! Yours actually looks way better than the ones on that episode though ;)

My perfect end of summer Sunday involves NOT working, but going out for beer and brunch with the boy, puttering around town in the sunshine, and going to see a movie :)


traveleatlove September 15, 2009 at 5:07 pm

Sunday was pretty great. I had a tapas brunch with a good friend, walked around Boston with some homemade treats from my favorite bakery, picked up a bunch of wine we ordered, then spent a few hours watching tv in bed doing nothing. Topped off with a great dinner out with my husband :)


burpandslurp September 15, 2009 at 11:11 pm

cornmeal, cheese, and fresh corn? Oh wow…I HAVE to try making these, they look crazy good! I would eat it with bacon and kimchi though, hahaha!


RickyRae September 16, 2009 at 7:08 am

These look so goooooood! My husband would love them!


runnerskitchen September 16, 2009 at 9:44 am

Ahh! The delicious aroma of mozz-arepas (arepas + mozzarella cheese) is present at every summer street fair in New York City. With a little bit of marinara sauce they are heaven!


Erica September 16, 2009 at 10:11 am

Great goals girl! Don't you feel like yoga HELPS your running? I am loving it ;)


mamasweeds September 16, 2009 at 3:54 pm

You are the queen of making dishes I've never even heard of. Thank you for that. These look so good – and I love the addition of black beans.

How is it now WEDNESDAY and I'm just now reading your Sunday post? ACK! I'm here though and I'm psyched to cheer you on for your big race in less than 3 weeks!


chocolate covered katie September 16, 2009 at 5:39 pm

Perfect Sunday? Hmmm, there'll be chocolate involved ;)


Sarah (Running To Slow Things Down) September 16, 2009 at 9:09 pm

Oh that looks marvelous. I'm making this for sure…hold me to it in case I forget. ;) All I need is cheddar cheese and I can make it. :-)

The pictures are so artsy, by the way…love it! :-)

And in answering the question, my idea of a perfect end of summer Sunday would involve a long walk, a late leisurely dinner, and sitting around the campfire in my pj's with a hot cup of tea. And maybe a s'more or two. :)


Mabel December 2, 2012 at 1:20 pm

Hi there, I am from Venezuela an although these are far from the more bland version, these look amazing… Cannot wait to try them. Thanks for the idea, I was also thinking to try it with quinoa instead of cornmeal, I’ll keep you posted..


Bailey August 29, 2013 at 7:03 pm

Thank you for sharing your recipe. My wife wasn’t too sure about arepas when she first looked at it, but after tasting she loved it. I went a different route and instead of splitting them I topped mine with pulled pork, sour cream and a little pico de gallo as a main course for dinner. Yum.


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