Jorge Castillo: You see them all over Miami. One brand, Arepa Queen is very popular at festivals and other events.
Glenn Lindgren: The traditional arepa served in Miami has two cornmeal pancakes with a layer of cheese inside. The pancakes are slightly sweet and have a delicious corn flavor. They're usually smeared with butter and cooked on a griddle.
Jorge Castillo: Most places use a mild Swiss. We've had good luck with a Baby Swiss -- the one without the holes.
Glenn Lindgren: Other people we know have used Monterey Jack or Mozzarella.
The famous corn pancake sandwich served at fairs and exhibits in Miami -- two cornmeal "cakes" with a layer of gooey cheese inside.
INGREDIENTS:1 cup milk
Add the five tablespoons of butter. Let stand.
Grind one cup frozen yellow corn kernels in a food processor.
In a large bowl, mix the arepa flour, salt, and sugar. Make a well in the center and gradually add the hot milk. Stir until there are no lumps. Work the dough until it is smooth and slightly sticky.
Add corn flour as necessary if the dough is too thin. The dough needs to be thick enough to roll out.
Stir in the ground frozen corn and the shredded mozzarella cheese .
TIP: For easier rolling, refrigerate the dough for one hour.
Use a rolling pin to roll out the dough between two sheets of wax paper to about 1/2" thickness.
Cut out arepas with a large cookie cutter- about 3 inches in diameter. (We've had good luck using a small straight edged bowl.)
Heat a lightly buttered griddle on medium. Cook the arepas in batches until crispy and golden brown on each side. Immediately place a slice of cheese on one arepa and cover with another to make a sandwich.
Heat on griddle until cheese melts. You can also make the pancakes only and store them in the refrigerator or frozen until ready to serve. Just lightly butter two pancakes, put a slice of cheese in between (on the unbuttered sides) and heat on the griddle at low-heat until the cheese melts.
There are two more ways to make and eat these.
Because there is cheese in the dough, many people make them thicker and eat a single arepa -- instead of two arepas with melted cheese in the middle.
The second variation is to omit the cheese from the dough. Layer the cheese as indicated in the middle of two arepa halves, let them heat in the pan until the cheese is gooey, and enjoy.
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