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corn

Cachapas – Venezuelan Corn Flatbread with Cheese

If you have been on my blog before, you probably know that I have a lot of corn flatbread recipes from Colombia and Venezuela on here, they are normally called arepas. Today I am going to introduce you to the gluten-free version that is made with sweet corn and is filled with cheese. In Venezuela these are called cachapas, in Colombia arepas de choclo. The Spanish word for sweet corn is choclo, hence the name. Normally the sweet corn is cooked and directly cut off the cob, however, I decided to go for canned corn as in Germany usually only sweet corn is sold. I had tried already once to make cachapas, however, I was not completely happy yet. But then I had the privilege to eat cachapas at my husband’s cousin again. Her husband is Venezuelan, so obviously he knew exactly how to make them. Of course I immediately asked her for the recipe, which she happily let me know. So I set to it and guess what, they tasted marvelous, so I finally felt OK to share the recipe here. So let’s make cachapas with cheese filling!

You can also make the cachapas and melt the cheese on the top if you find the procedure described below too complicated
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Gluten-free Arepas with Plantain

Guys, these gluten-free arepas with plantain are a dream come true! Try to think of a flatbread with a touch of sweetness from the plantain, which is filled with mozzarella.  I tell you, of all the arepas I have eaten, this is by far my favorite. Since I am married to a Colombian, I have had my share of arepas. Just as bread is extremely important in German culture, arepas are a staple in Colombia. Of course I posted the basic arepa recipe, some from the region Boyaca, which are slightly sweet, and arepas with cheese filling, which have become popular after the movie Encanto. In Venezuela arepas are commonly filled and stuffed, I introdcued arepas with chicken filling and today, finally, let me introduce arepas made with mashed plantains.

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Colombian Mantecada or Pound Cake (Ponqué)

If hubby says after the first bite that this tastes exactly like in Colombia, you simply know that this is a winner. May I introduce Colombian mantecada aka pound cake (ponqué). The main difference between a regular pound cake and this one is that part of the flour is replaced with corn flour. This automatically makes the cake denser. However, nonetheless very delicious. In Colombia this cake is served for breakfast or as a snack. It is usually eaten plain without any glaze or other components, pure and simple.

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Classic Colombian Empanadas

Kolumbianische Empanadas

Warning, these classic empanadas from Colombia are a labor of love. If you are going to make everything from scratch like I did, you will need a few hours. However, one of the good things about empanadas is that you can prepare a lot in advance. You may wish to make the filling and/or the dough one to two days prior and then “only” need to fill and fry the empanadas the following day. But before we get into the details, what are empanadas exactly? Empanadas are dumplings, each Latin American country has its own variation, heck, every region and city will be proud of their particular empanadas. Since I was born in Uruguay, I am used to empanadas made with wheat flour. The traditional filling in Uruguay is beef (duh) and they are usually baked in the oven. Yes, of course I have a recipe for Uruguayan empanadas on my blog. Colombian empanadas on the other hand are made with cornmeal, if using the right one, they will be gluten-free. Most of the time they are not baked in the oven, but deep-fried. The filling varies, some use a piece of meat that is later pulled apart, I simply decided to use already minced meat. One particularity of Colombia is the “guiso” or “hogao”, this is a thick sauce made of tomatoes, spring onions, onions and herbs that are typically mixed with the meat filling. This makes them Colombian.

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Arepas con Queso or Corn Flatbread with Cheese Filling from Colombia

Arepas con queso

I am happy to say that through the movie “Encanto” finally people are learning about Colombian arepa con queso, a gluten-free flatbread made from corn and filled with lots of cheese. So today I am going to present my version of this Colombian staple to you. Arepas are a popular dish in Colombia, you will find many different versions, thick, thin, crispy, with fillings (such as cheese or egg) and at any time of  the year. It can be served for breakfast, as a snack, as a side, or even as the main dish. I already introduced the basic recipe for arepas previously. Filled arepas are more common in Venezuela, I also have a recipe on my blog of filled arepas with chicken and guacamole. But today I am presenting arepas with cheese, because Colombians love anything with cheese. I may be mistaken, but arepas with cheese are probably the most popular kind of arepa and will usually be received with excitement.

Arepas con queso aus Kolumbien

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Arepas with Chicken and Guacamole Filling

Arepas mit Hähnchen- und Guacamolefüllung

Today I am introducing arepas with chicken and guacamole filling. Arepas are Colombian corn flatbread with no gluten and serve as the base for a hearty sandwich. I already introduced one filled arepa on this blog. Arepa boyacense is a popular arepa with cheese filling. Today I decided to make a plain version with a hearty filling. If prepared this way, arepas can serve as the main course, in this instance they are filled with crispy chicken pieces and the famouse avocado cream called guacamole. Many people instantly go to Mexico when they hear guacamole. However, I have learned that actually Colombians are the ones eating most avocados per capita. Every time I visited Colombia, I saw avocado being sold on the street, every bbq would have guacamole served with the rest. But rest assured, Colombian guacamole is much milder than the Mexican version, so this is not spicy at all.

Arepas mit Hähnchen- und Guacamolefüllung

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