Courtesy of Barbara Fenzl, Owner, Les Gourmettes Cooking School
Makes about 20
Arepas: 1 cup arepa flour (precooked corn flour – P.A.N. is the popular brand) 1 teaspoon kosher salt 1 cup hot water 1 tablespoon vegetable oil Pimento Cheese Spread: 2 cups grated cheddar cheese (about 5 ounces) 1/3 cup mayonnaise Dash of cayenne 2 tablespoons chopped pimentos, well-drained
Arepas: Combine the arepa flour and salt. Mix in the hot water and stir until there are no lumps. Divide the dough into 20 pieces and roll each into a ball. If not using immediately, cover with a damp towel. Heat a large griddle over medium heat and coat it with the oil. Roll each piece of dough into a ball and flatten to about ½-inch thick. Add arepas, in batches, if necessary, and cook until golden brown, about 5 minutes. Flip them over and cook the other side, another 5 minutes or so. Transfer to a wire rack. Split arepas in half horizontally and top with pimento cheese spread. Alternative toppings: pulled pork, black beans and cheese, crab, smoked salmon with crème fraiche.
Pimento Cheese Spread: Stir together all the ingredients in a medium bowl. Spread on arepas and serve as is or, alternatively, broil them until cheese is bubbling and browned.