Arepas are a great choice for lunch or weekday dinner!
4 ripe Hass Avocados
Juice of 3 limes
2 teaspoons kosher salt
½ small bunch cilantro, finely chopped
¼ cup extra-virgin olive oil, plus ¾ cup for frying
2 tablespoons Natural and Kosher Grated Parmesan Cheese
3 cups Natural and Kosher Italian Blend Shredded Cheese
½ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
3¾ cups warm water
4 cups masarepa (pre-cooked white or yellow cornmeal)
6 large eggs
½ cup oil-cured black olives, pitted and roughly chopped
- Peel and pit the avocados, cut the flesh vertically into ¼-inch slices, and place them into a flat bowl.
- Quickly cover the avocados with lime juice, sprinkle with ¼ teaspoon of the salt and the minced cilantro, and turn gently to coat. Cover with plastic wrap and set aside.
- Preheat the oven to 350°F. Spray 2 rimmed baking sheets with nonstick vegetable oil spray, line with parchment paper, and set aside.
- In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, combine 3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, 2 tablespoons Natural and Kosher Parmesan cheese, 1 cup Natural and Kosher Italian Blend Cheese, the remaining salt, the pepper, and cornmeal. With the mixer running at low speed, add the water. When it is fully incorporated, turn off the mixer. Remove the paddle, cover the bowl with plastic wrap, and let stand for 5 minutes. Replace the bowl and paddle and mix at medium-low speed for 5 minutes, until the mixture forms a soft pliable ball that easily pulls away from the side of the mixer and feels silky smooth. (If the dough does not form a ball easily, then add more water, drizzling in 1 tablespoon at a time and kneading well to incorporate after each addition.) Turn off the mixer, remove the paddle, cover the dough with plastic wrap, and let stand for 10 minutes.
- To form the arepas, divide the dough into 6 equal parts. Moisten your hands with cold water, and roll each into a smooth ball. With the palm of your hand, gently pat them into flat rounds about 5½ to 6 inches in diameter and ½ inch thick. Place on one of the prepared baking sheets, in layers separated by parchment paper, cover with plastic wrap, and set aside.
- Heat 1 tablespoon of the oil in a heavy, 8-inch skillet over medium heat until it shimmers. Cook the arepas, one at a time, for 1½ to 2 minutes per side, or just until a crust has formed and it is golden brown and crisp. Return the fried arepa to the other prepared baking sheets and place in the oven to keep warm. Repeat with the remaining arepas, adding oil to the skillet as necessary, and stacking the finished arepas on the baking sheet in the oven, separated by sheets of parchment paper. (Reserve 1 tablespoon of oil.) When all of the arepas are cooked, remove the pan from the heat and reserve.
- Transfer 1 arepa to a cutting board. Holding it with your fingertips on top (not at the sides), slice the arepa in half horizontally to make 2 circles, with a sharp, large knife. Repeat with the remaining arepas and sprinkle ⅓ cup of the Italian Blend cheese on the 6 bottom pieces. Return the 6 cheesy bottoms to the baking sheet and place in the oven. Reserve the 6 arepa tops.
- Pour the remaining 1 tablespoon oil into the reserved pan and set over high heat until it shimmers. Fry the eggs, 2 at a time, to desired doneness, transferring the fried eggs to a large platter.
- Remove the cheesy arepa bottoms from the oven and place a fried egg on each. Top each egg with 3 avocado slices and 1 teaspoon olives and place the reserved arepa tops gently on top of each. Serve immediately.
- The arepas, uncut and unfilled, will keep, wrapped individually and refrigerated, for up to 2 days. They can be frozen for up to 2 weeks.
Recipe by Tami Weiser for Natural & Kosher Cheese
You can visit her blog at http://theweiserkitchen.com/recipe/natural-kosher-italian-blend-cheese-eggs-avocado-stuffed-arepas/