2 cups yellow or white pre-cooked corn meal
2 teaspoons salt
1 1/2 cups water
2 cups queso fresco, finely crumbled, or grated queso seco, or Parmesan cheese
In a large bowl, combine the corn meal and salt and stir well. Slowly pour in the water a little at a time while stirring, adding only enough to make a firm and moist dough that easily holds its shape. Add the cheese and knead into the dough until well incorporated. Take 1/3-cup portions of dough at a time and shape them into balls. Flatten the balls to form thick patties, approximately 3 to 3 1/2 inches round. Generously grease a skillet or griddle with the butter, and cook the arepas for 2 to 3 minutes on each side, or until they are cooked through and have lightly browned. Spread the patties with butter if desired, or split in half and sandwich with additional white cheese. Serve immediately.
Makes 8 arepas.