Venezuelan Arepas

2½ cups water
2 cups pre-cooked cornmeal
1 teaspoon salt
grated Parmesan cheese, to taste

Pour the water into a large bowl. Stir in the salt, cornmeal and Parmesan gradually.
Knead until a dough is formed. Added more water or cornmeal if needed. You want a good, moist dough — not too dry.
Let rest for 5 to 10 minutes (it will not rise).
Separate dough into small portions. Take one portion in your hands and shape/roll the dough so that you form a ball roughly the size or smaller than your palm. Press it down with your palms to form a patty shape.
Place onto a griddle or frying pan over medium heat for 5 minutes on each side. Brown on both sides and serve hot. You want them crunchy on the outside but still doughy on the inside. Open the arepa and stuff with desired fillings (I like chicken breast with avocado or just plain butter).

My family likes to open the arepa, spread butter on the inside, and fill with queso blanco (typically labeled “Colombian cheese” in supermarkets), turkey and ham slices, avocado slices and served with fried or scrambled eggs. Use whatever your favorite fillings are.