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Arepas de Queso con Morcilla

When I started planning my post-Christmas Columbian feast, arepas kept coming up in my search. I know this is inaccurate, but think of them as thick, stuffed tortillas; they are more like corn cakes, I suppose. We liked them so much, I've already made them again.


In any case, I started with R's Handmade Corn Tortillas and went from there. We stuffed ours with queso fresco and topped them with crumbled morcilla, blood sausage. I had just picked some up from Boccalone in the Ferry Building.

Ingredients makes 16 cakes
  • 2 C masa harina
  • 1 C hot water
  • 1 C hot chicken stock
  • 4 T butter, softened
  • 2 egg yolk
  • 1 C crumbled queso fresco
  • butter or oil for cooking the arepas
  • cooked blood sausage, crumbled, for serving
  • fresh cilantro, for garnish
  • crema Mexicana or sour cream, for garnish

Procedure
Place the masa harina in a large mixing bowl. Add the hot water and stock. Stir with a spatula or wooden spoon until well-combined. Stir the egg yolk and butter into the dough. Cover with plastic wrap and let rest for 15 minutes.

Separate the dough into 16 pieces and roll each piece into a ball. Make an impression in the ball with your thumb. Spoon some queso fresco into the hollow. Then press the dough together into a ball again, trying to keep the cheese enclosed as much as possible. Flatten the dough to about 1/2" thick. 

Melt a pat of butter in a large, flat-bottom pan. Cook arepas in batches, adding more butter if needed.


They should cook approximately 5 minutes on each side - till the outside is dry and crusted, but the inside is creamy and soft.


Serve hot, garnished with crumbles of morcilla, crema Mexicana, and fresh cilantro.

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