I made some arepas, but in mini cheesy ball format with lots of mozzarella and extra mature cheddar a.k.a little cheesy corn dough balls. It’s such a tasty and naturally gluten free snack along with dips and as a bonus, arepas are the easiest thing to make. All you need is pre-cooked cornmeal and water with a bit of salt, olive oil and in this case lots of cheese.
P.S.: you can sometimes find pre-cooked cornmeal (I use P.A.N. flour which is the best and certified gluten free) in the world section of supermarkets (I found it in Tesco in the past), but if not, check out small independent corner shops near you. They tend to be the best. But if all things fail, you can always buy it online. If you’re in the UK, I recently found it on the Sous Chef website for example.
- 150g pre-cooked cornmeal (I use P.A.N. flour)
- ½ tsp salt
- 50g shredded mozzarella
- 30g extra mature cheddar (or any other hard cheese of your choice)
- 1 cup (240ml) warm water
- Vegetable oil (to fry)
- * For a baked version, add 1 Tbsp olive oil to the dough
Prepare the dough:
- Mix the pre-cooked cornmeal with salt and grated cheese.
- Add the warm water and stir with a spoon or spatula until mostly mixed up.
- Then knead the dough until you have a smooth ball.
- Divide the dough in about 10 portions and roll them into small balls with your hands.
Cook your arepa corn dough balls:
- TO FRY: pre-heat your oil to 175C (350F). If you don’t have a fryer, you can simply use a saucepan with a couple of inches of oil and use a food thermometer to track the temperature. Once the oil is ready, fry each batch of corn dough balls for about 5 minutes (until crispy and golden), fish them out with a slotted spoon and let them rest on kitchen towel to get rid of any excess oil.
- TO BAKE: for a baked version, add 1 tablespoon of oil to your dough and also brush your dough balls with oil. Then bake at 190C (375F) until golden. It’s not quite the same as fried, however, just a heads up.
For the baked version, how long do you bake it?