Arepas are delicious patties made with flour from corn (masarepa) that can be grilled, fried, or baked. They are traditional items on various Latin American/South American/Caribbean menus, and will now be a staple on mine! This meal wasn't the healthiest, but boy was it decadent. Arepas pan-fried then baked, then stuffed with chorizo, black beans, and cheese and broiled until all melty and tasty-like. Serve with a salad if you want to make yourself feel better, or don't like us.
Arepas con Chorizo y Frijoles Negros
(arepas with chorizo and black beans)
From Serious Eats
1 1/4 cup white or yellow arepa flour (masarepa)
1/2 tsp salt
1 1/3 cups hot water
1 tbsp melted butter
4 tsp vegetable oil
1/2 lb chorizo, casings removed
1 small onion, diced
2 garlic cloves, minced
salt and black pepper
1 can black beans, drained and rinsed
3/4 cup melting white cheese such as queso oaxaca (I stared at the Mexican cheese section for 5 minutes before going with queso fresca, which is not nearly as melty but still great)
Cook the chorizo in a skillet in a tsp of oil over medium heat for 10 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add the onions and garlic and cook until onions caramelize. When done, turn the heat to very low.
Meanwhile, mix the arepa flour with the salt, hot water, and butter. Mix well until it forms a dough ball. The dough ball won't be as formed as bread dough, if you have made that before. At most, it will just start to ball up together relatively nicely. Wrap in plastic and set aside for 15 minutes.
Preheat the oven to 350°. Warm the black beans in a small saucepan.
Divide the arepas into four balls (or 8 if you want a smaller sandwich; ours were pretty huge). Place each ball between two sheets of plastic wrap and flatten with a skillet bottom until 3-4 inches across (your preference).
Pour some oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add as many arepas as will fit in one layer and cook for about 5 minutes per side, until slightly browned. When done, bake for 10 minutes on a cookie sheet.
Finally, set aside half of the arepas. Add chorizo, black beans, and cheese to the top of the other halves and broil until the cheese is melted. I gave up after 2 minutes because quesa fresca won't melt.
Make sandwiches of the arepas by placing the halves you set aside on top of the halves with all the toppings. Don't bother actually trying to eat it like a sandwich - you'll just end up with chorizo and beans down your shirt! My advice: use a fork and knife and demolish it.