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Blackened Queso De Freir Arepas Fill 1 Created with Sketch.

with Cucumber, Avocado & Pickled Onion Salad

  • Group Created with Sketch.
    Time
    35-45 mins
  • icon_serves Created with Sketch.
    Servings
    4
  • icon_cals Created with Sketch.
    Nutrition
    Est. 685 calories

A staple of Venezuelan and Colombian cuisines, arepas are bun-like flatbreads of ground maize, topped or stuffed with savory ingredients. In our version, we’re topping homemade arepas with blackened queso de freir—a delicious, semi-hard cheese that maintains its shape at high temperatures. The technique of blackening entails coating the cheese in spices and searing it in a hot pan until it chars slightly, releasing the deep, toasted flavors of the spices. Along with lime-seasoned crema, quick-pickled onion and cilantro, this dish is a new summer classic.

fresh
ingredients
Blackened Queso De Freir Arepas with Cucumber, Avocado & Pickled Onion Salad
Title
tried-and-true
kitchen tools
time-saving
tips & techniques
step-by-step
instructions
Prepare the ingredients:
1 Prepare the ingredients:

Wash and dry the fresh produce. Peel, halve and thinly slice the onion. Cut the queso into 8 equal-sized slices. Pick the cilantro leaves off the stems; discard the stems. Quarter the lime. Pit, peel and medium dice the avocado; toss with the juice of 1 lime wedge to prevent browning. Halve the cucumber lengthwise; using a spoon, scoop out and discard the seeds. Thinly slice the cucumber. Halve the tomatoes.

Pickle the onion:
2 Pickle the onion:

In a large pan (nonstick, if you have one), combine the onion, sugar, vinegar, a big pinch of salt and ½ cup of water. Heat to boiling on high. Cook, occasionally swirling the pan, 2 to 4 minutes, or until the liquid has reduced in volume by about half and the onion is bright pink. Transfer the pickled onion and pickling liquid to a heatproof bowl and set aside. Carefully rinse and dry the pan.

Form & cook the arepas:
3 Form & cook the arepas:

In a medium bowl, combine the masarepa and 2 cups of warm water; season with salt and pepper. Stir to form a stiff dough. Transfer to a clean, dry work surface. Using your hands, knead the dough for 20 to 30 seconds, or until smooth. Using wet hands, form the kneaded dough into 8 equal-sized balls; flatten each ball with your palm to a ½-inch-thick round. In the pan used to pickle the onion, heat a thin layer of oil on medium-high until hot. Working in batches if necessary, add the arepas and cook 4 to 6 minutes per side, or until golden brown and cooked through. Transfer to a paper towel-lined plate. Carefully wipe out the pan.

Blacken the queso:
4 Blacken the queso:

Season the queso slices with salt, pepper and the smoked paprika on all sides. In the pan used to cook the arepas, heat 1 tablespoon of olive oil on medium-high until hot. Add the seasoned queso slices and cook 2 to 4 minutes per side, or until blackened and crispy. Remove from heat and set aside in a warm place.

Finish the arepas:
5 Finish the arepas:

In a medium bowl, combine the Mexican crema and the juice of the remaining lime wedges; season with salt and pepper to taste. Arrange the cooked arepas on a serving dish. Divide the lime crema between the cooked arepas. Top each with a blackened queso slice, some of the pickled onion (reserve the pickling liquid) and a pinch of the cilantro.

Make the salad & serve your dish:
6 Make the salad & serve your dish:

In a large bowl, combine the arugula, avocado, cucumber, tomatoes, remaining pickled onion (reserve the pickling liquid) and remaining cilantro. Add 1 to 2 tablespoons of the reserved pickling liquid and a drizzle of olive oil. Toss to coat; season with salt and pepper to taste. Transfer to a serving dish. Serve the finished arepas with the salad on the side. Enjoy!

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Blue Apron delivers original, step-by-step recipes and fresh ingredients to customers nationwide. Our menus change every week, so with each delivery you learn to cook inventive new dishes with seasonal ingredients. By letting us source these hard-to-find ingredients for you, you'll get food that is fresher and cheaper than you can get at your local supermarket, and there's no waste because we only send you what you need for each recipe.

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Blue Apron is a weekly subscription service with no commitment - you can skip a week or cancel at anytime with a week's notice, and delivery is always free. We can't wait to cook with you!

Get This Recipe Delivered
1 Prepare the ingredients:

Wash and dry the fresh produce. Peel, halve and thinly slice the onion. Cut the queso into 8 equal-sized slices. Pick the cilantro leaves off the stems; discard the stems. Quarter the lime. Pit, peel and medium dice the avocado; toss with the juice of 1 lime wedge to prevent browning. Halve the cucumber lengthwise; using a spoon, scoop out and discard the seeds. Thinly slice the cucumber. Halve the tomatoes.

2 Pickle the onion:

In a large pan (nonstick, if you have one), combine the onion, sugar, vinegar, a big pinch of salt and ½ cup of water. Heat to boiling on high. Cook, occasionally swirling the pan, 2 to 4 minutes, or until the liquid has reduced in volume by about half and the onion is bright pink. Transfer the pickled onion and pickling liquid to a heatproof bowl and set aside. Carefully rinse and dry the pan.

Pickle the onion:
Form & cook the arepas:
3 Form & cook the arepas:

In a medium bowl, combine the masarepa and 2 cups of warm water; season with salt and pepper. Stir to form a stiff dough. Transfer to a clean, dry work surface. Using your hands, knead the dough for 20 to 30 seconds, or until smooth. Using wet hands, form the kneaded dough into 8 equal-sized balls; flatten each ball with your palm to a ½-inch-thick round. In the pan used to pickle the onion, heat a thin layer of oil on medium-high until hot. Working in batches if necessary, add the arepas and cook 4 to 6 minutes per side, or until golden brown and cooked through. Transfer to a paper towel-lined plate. Carefully wipe out the pan.

4 Blacken the queso:

Season the queso slices with salt, pepper and the smoked paprika on all sides. In the pan used to cook the arepas, heat 1 tablespoon of olive oil on medium-high until hot. Add the seasoned queso slices and cook 2 to 4 minutes per side, or until blackened and crispy. Remove from heat and set aside in a warm place.

Blacken the queso:
Finish the arepas:
5 Finish the arepas:

In a medium bowl, combine the Mexican crema and the juice of the remaining lime wedges; season with salt and pepper to taste. Arrange the cooked arepas on a serving dish. Divide the lime crema between the cooked arepas. Top each with a blackened queso slice, some of the pickled onion (reserve the pickling liquid) and a pinch of the cilantro.

6 Make the salad & serve your dish:

In a large bowl, combine the arugula, avocado, cucumber, tomatoes, remaining pickled onion (reserve the pickling liquid) and remaining cilantro. Add 1 to 2 tablespoons of the reserved pickling liquid and a drizzle of olive oil. Toss to coat; season with salt and pepper to taste. Transfer to a serving dish. Serve the finished arepas with the salad on the side. Enjoy!

Make the salad & serve your dish: