Venezuelan Arepas and Cheese Empanadas

Arepas and empanadas, the food of my childhood!  Easy to prepare, it’s mostly a matter of technique.  As far as the cheeses go, I tried both of these pictured below.  The queso fresco cooked and tasted the most like that I grew up with.

According to the package of Harina Pan, mix 2 1/2 cups water and a 1/2 teaspoon salt with the masa.  Mix well with your hands.  Kind of like making dough, you might need more or less water depending on the humidity.  I actually used about 2 1/4 cups masa harina.

The primary ingredients.

The primary ingredients.

 

Mixing in the water.

Mixing in the water.

Just right masa.

Just right masa.

I cooked a few plain arepas just to make sure the dough was good.

One perfect arepa!

One perfect arepa!

This one was delicious with just a little bit of butter inside.

After that, I started making some cheese empanadas.

Important things you will need to make these:

  • a zip loc baggie, opened up
  • a small bowl of water, to keep the dough from sticking to your fingers when patting out the dough
  • a small bowl, to cut and seal the empanadas
Forming the empanada.

Forming the empanada.

Sealing & cutting the empanada, in one step.

Sealing & cutting the empanada, in one step.

Remove the trimmings, and add back to the masa.

Remove the trimmings, and add back to the masa.

Frying the empanada.

Frying the empanada.

They’re just that easy!

One perfect cheesy empanada!

One perfect cheesy empanada!

They are even better with a little guasacaca sauce.  Yummy!

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