Arepas con queso with Turkish meatballs

By DNA Dinners
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  • 2 cups (480 millilitres) white corn meal, pre-cooked
  • 2 1/2 cups (600 millilitres) water
  • 1 tablespoon (15 millilitres) canola oil, with extra for frying
  • 1 teaspoon (5 millilitres) salt
  • 1 teaspoon (5 millilitres) sugar

Buttered swiss chard:

  • 2 tablespoons (30 millilitres) butter
  • 3 garlic cloves, minced
  • 4 cups (960 milliliters) shredded swiss chard, stems removed
  • 1/2 cup (120 millilitres) white wine
  • Salt and pepper

Turkish meatballs:

  • 4 ears of corn, husked
  • 1 yellow onion, peeled
  • 2 garlic cloves, peeled and minced
  • 3 slices of white bread, chopped
  • 1/2 cup (120 millilitres) milk
  • Salt and pepper
  • 907 grams ground veal
  • 1 cup (240 millilitres) queso blanco, crumbled
  • 3 tablespoons (45 millilitres) chives, finely chopped
  • 2 cups (480 millilitres) chicken stock

Sweet and sour sauce:

  • 2 tablespoons (30 millilitres) butter
  • 1 red onion, minced
  • 2 garlic cloves, peeled and minced
  • 1/2 cup (120 millilitres) dried figs, chopped
  • 1/2 cup (120 millilitres) dried apricots, chopped
  • 1/2 cup (120 millilitres) dried plums, chopped
  • 3 cups (720 millilitres) red wine vinegar
  • 1 1/2 cups (360 millilitres) cane sugar
  • 1/2 cup (120 millilitres) parsley, chopped
  • Salt and pepper


  • Assorted dried fruit (figs, apricots, plums, apricots)



  1. Preheat oven to375 F (190C)
  2. Mix corn meal, water, canola oil, salt, and sugar together thoroughly to create a dough. Let sit for ten minutes. Shape the dough into 6.25 centimetre disks that are 1.25 centimetres thick.
  3. Heat a cast iron skillet over medium-high heat with remaining canola oil. Sear the arepas on both sides for two to three minutes each side or until golden. Place arepas on baking sheet and into the oven for 20 minutes. Remove and reserve for plating.

Swiss chard:

  1. In a skillet, heat butter over medium heat. Add garlic and cook for one minute. Add swiss chard and cook for two minutes, stirring occasionally. Add white wine and cook until evaporated, around one to two minutes. Season with salt and pepper and reserve for plating.


  1. Preheat oven to 450F (230C)
  2. Remove kernels off of the ears of corn and place in a food processor. Add yellow onion and garlic. Process. Add bread, milk and season with salt and pepper. Process until smooth. Transfer the mixture to a bowl and mix with the ground veal. Fold in cheese and chives.
  3. Shape meatballs into 7.25 centimeters balls. Place on a baking sheet with parchment paper. Place in the oven for eight minutes, until golden.
  4. In a skillet, bring the chicken stock to a simmer over medium-high heat. Add the meatballs and cook for 15-18 minutes. Remove and reserve for plating.

Sweet and sour sauce:

  1. Heat butter in a skillet over medium-high heat. Add red onion and garlic. Cook for one to two minutes. Add dried figs, apricots, and plums. Stir. Add vinegar and cane sugar. Bring to a simmer and reduce for 12-15 minutes. Stir in parlsey and season with salt and pepper.

Top each arepa fill with Buttered Swiss Chard and one Meatball. Drizzle with Sweet and Sour Sauce. Garnish with dried fruit.


DNA Dinners

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