Wednesday, August 1, 2012

Easy Arepas (Corn pancakes)

When I was growing up in South Florida, my family would go to Miami to see the Marlins play baseball. One of the highlights of the trip was the delicious, sweet, greasy, cheesy arepa I would usually order for dinner. I don't think this was the most authentic Venezuelan or Colombian arepa, but it was utterly delicious. Two sweet corn pancakes were fried on a griddle, with white Jack cheese melted in the middle. You eat it like a sandwich with a little cardboard holder. Imagine my surprise when I learned that every stadium and fairground in the United States does not host Arepa Queen stands!

I wanted my family to have a little taste of the pleasure that comes with this wonderful flavor combination, so I've been making my own wonderfully un-authentic arepas using an inexpensive sandwich maker. This could easily be made in a dorm or hotel room if you bring the ingredients. You can also serve it with salsa or guacamole on the side.

I started with Amelia Bedelia's Corn Bread Recipe from on of our favorite books, An Amelia Bedelia Celebration: Four Stories Tall with Audio CD.

1. Mix together:
  • 1 cup cornmeal (Authentic arepas use a precooked finely ground meal, but I like the regular.)
  • 1 cup flour (I used whole wheat, of course.)
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 4 teaspoons baking powder (I recommend aluminum free)
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
2. Add
  • 1 cup milk
  • 1 egg
  • 1/4 cup vegetable oil (I used coconut oil.)
3. Beat until smooth.

4. Stir in 1 small can of corn, drained.

(Here Miss Bedelia's recipe says to bake in a 9"x9" pan at 425 F for 20-25 minutes.)

I spooned this very thick batter onto my hot sandwich maker and closed the top. When the pancake is light brown and doesn't stick to the top, it's done. Maybe three minutes. If you're using a griddle, you might do three minutes on each side. If you have a non-stick griddle there is no need for extra oil. We let cheese melt between two pancakes, but that step is obviously up to you. Enjoy!

Have you ever had an arepa? What is your favorite ball-park or fairground food?


  1. That sounds amazing. And easy. As for fairground food, I miss the papago frybread of my Arizona youth.

  2. I may have sold you one of those arepas because my dad owns "Arepa Queen." If you ever want to get them frozen, my dad does manufacture for Goya, so check out your local supermarket. It's the same product, just frozen.

  3. What you are describing is not an arepa, it is called a cachapa



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