arepas filled with carnitas & guasacaca

I found this recipe on Food Gawker via a blog called Spoon Fork Bacon. I can’t wait to try these.


  • 2 cups harina PAN (pre-cooked cornmeal)
  • 2 ½ cups hot water
  • 3 tablespoon vegetable oil, plus extra for brushing and cooking
  • ¾ teaspoon salt


  • 1 large avocado, peeled, pitted and quartered
  • 1/2 small sweet onion, peeled and quartered
  • 2 cloves garlic, chopped
  • 2 serranos, halved and seeded
  • 2 tablespoons white wine vinegar
  • 1 lime, juiced
  • 1 bunch cilantro, stemmed
  • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • salt and pepper to taste


  • 6 cups carnitas, shredded
  • ½ cup cotija cheese, crumbled

Place the PAN, water, oil, and salt in a mixing bowl and stir until the mixture just comes together. Cover with a damp towel and allow to rest for 15 to 20 minutes.

After the dough has rested, mix it with your hands to remove any lumps. Taking a small amount (about 1/3 cup) of the dough, form a flat and round disc, even in thickness. Brush each side of the disc with a small amount of vegetable oil and place onto a sheet pan lined with parchment paper.

Place a cast iron skillet over medium-high heat and brush with a small amount of vegetable oil. Once the skillet is hot, place a few arepas onto the surface, making sure not to overcrowd, and cook for 7 to 10 minutes on each side, until they are golden brown on each side and make a hollow sound when lightly tapped. Remove them from the heat and repeat with the remaining discs (you can store the cooked arepas, on a prepared sheet pan, in a warm oven while you cook the remaining batches).

For the guasacaca: Place the avocado, onion, garlic, serranos, vinegar, and lime juice into a blender and blender until smooth. Add the cilantro, salt and oil and continue to blend until smooth. Season with more salt and pepper.

To assemble: Open the arepas down the side to create pocket. Open the pocket and fill with ½ cup of carnitas and top with a generous drizzle of guasacaca and a sprinkle of cotija. Repeat with the remaining arepas and serve.


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