A vegetarian take on a classic Venezuelan dish that is not only easy to make, but hearty and very satisfying. Savory corn cakes filled with a delicious potato and avocado salad.
1 large russet Idaho® potato, peeled and diced
2 medium avocados, cored and diced
3 hard-boiled eggs, diced
⅓ cup mayonnaise
1 tablespoon fresh lime juice
1 teaspoon salt
½ teaspoon black pepper
¼ teaspoon garlic powder
¼ cup chopped fresh cilantro
¼ cup crumbled queso fresco, or feta
3 cups instant yellow corn masa flour (such as Maseca or Masarepa)
3¼ cups warm water
1 teaspoon salt
vegetable oil for frying
Place the potatoes in a medium pot and fill with water. Bring to a boil and cook until the potatoes are fork tender, about 15 minutes. Drain, transfer to a large bowl, and set aside to cool completely.
Once cooled, add the avocado, eggs, mayonnaise, lime juice, salt, pepper, garlic powder, and cilantro and mix until well combined. Give it a taste and adjust seasoning accordingly, adding more salt or pepper as needed. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate until ready to use.
To make the dough, combine the masa flour, water and salt in a large bowl. Mix with a wooden spoon until it comes together into a somewhat firm dough. You might need to use your hands to mix it towards the end. The dough should be soft to the touch and not sticky. If it’s dry, add a splash more water. If it’s too wet, add a bit more masa flour. Let the dough rest for about 5 minutes. Then divide into 6 portions. Working with one at a time, roll into a tight ball with your palms and then flatten out into a ½-inch thick disk. Place on a platter and continue shaping the rest.
Preheat oven to 350°F. Place a wire rack over a baking sheet and set aside.
Set a large cast iron skillet over medium heat with about 2 tablespoons oil. Once hot, place two arepas in the skillet and cook until the first side is golden brown, about 4 minutes. Flip over and continue cooking on the second side for another 4 minutes. Transfer to the wire rack and continue cooking the rest. Place the arepas in the oven and bake until fully cooked in the center and slightly puffed, about 15 to 20 minutes. Remove from the oven and let cool slightly.
Once cool enough to handle, split open with a serrated knife and stuff with the potato avocado salad. Sprinkle with queso fresco. Serve warm and enjoy!