I hear you asking yourselves “What is a MozzArepa? And why does it look so tasty?” After my sister-in-law, Erica, asked me to make the frickles, she didn’t come to me with any other interesting recipes. She certainly enjoyed the fruits of my labor, but I was waiting for her to come up with another crazy idea. Well, after I made my rainbow layer cake, Erica was inspired to call me up with a new recipe, and boy did she come up with something great! The story goes that she was hanging out with her friend, Romel, at a street fair when he practically stopped in his tracks at seeing the MozzArepa cart. The line was long but that didn’t matter. Romel would get his MozzArepa! Erica could do nothing but watch as he savored the non-kosher fresh corn cakes packed with mozzarella. I guess this happens every time the two best friends hang out at a street fair and Erica had enough with not being able to try the Mozzarepa herself. So she came to me for help and I was more than happy to oblige.
So what is a MozzArepa? It’s a variation on the classic South American staple called the arepa. Instead of cutting the arepa to stuff it with ingredients, the MozzArepa consists of 2 grilled patties, grilled again with mozzarella. You can use any cheese you want, but I think the mozzarella gives a mild taste that balances out the sweetness of the corn. Check it out!
1 cup frozen corn kernels
1 cup finely ground yellow corn meal
1/4 cup flour
1/3 cup sugar
1/4 tsp salt
1 cup grated mozzarella
1 cup milk
5 Tbsp butter
1/2 cup water
I ground the frozen corn kernels in a food processor until mostly fine. There were still a few pieces of corn in the mixture, but that was okay for me. If you don’t want any chunks, you can grind the kernels until fine.
In a large bowl, I mixed together the ground corn, cornmeal, sugar, flour, salt and shredded mozzarella. I placed the bowl aside.
I brought the milk and water to a boil in a small pan then added the butter. I made a well in the center of the corn mixture and slowly added the hot milk mixture.
I stirred the mixture with a wooden spoon until there were no lumps. Adding the hot milk mixture caused the cheese to melt, which brought it all together and created the consistency of a thick pancake batter. If your batter is too thick, you can gradually add more milk.
I heated a pan on medium and sprayed it with PAM butter cooking spray. You can also lightly butter the pan. If you have a griddle, that is even better than the pan since it is larger and you can grill more cakes at once, but I only had a pan on hand so I made my MozzArepas one at a time. I spooned around 1/4 cup of batter in to the pan to form 4 inch round “pancakes”.
I cooked the batter for around 1-2 minutes on the first side, then flipped and cooked for another 30 seconds-1 minute on the other side. Once the patties were brown on both sides, I placed a slice of mozzarella on top of one cake and immediately covered it with the other cake. On low, I let the sandwich grill until the cheese melted, flipping a few times to make sure neither side burned. I was able to make eight MozzArepas and I was starting to feel like a short-order cook. I had my own MozzArepa Express in my kitchen.
And there you have it! Sweet, savory, chewy, soft, textured, and cheesy. The MozzArepa could be described as all of those things and more! Erica was extremely happy with the results and now she understands why Romel will wait in such a long line for, what I will call, an arepa grilled cheese sandwich. It just blows my mind!