I’m interrupting this vacation recap to bring you breakfast! After having a fantastic arepa for breakfast at Arepa Cafe Miraflores I couldn’t get the delicious South American cakes out of my head. At the cafe we had Venezuelan style arepas, but I decided to make these in a Columbian fashion… the main difference from what I can discern is the thickness, meaning that with Venezuelan arepas are thicker so they can be split and stuffed.
Traditional Eggs Benedict is usually something I have maybe once every couple of years because 1) I am not the biggest fan of hollandaise sauce – it’s usually made way too salty and 2) I’ve never been able to master it on my own, aside from it being not the healthiest of options. Since I love avocado on breakfast sandwiches, I decided to see if they could be turned into more of a sauce than a spread or dip.
Arepa Eggs Benedict with Avocado Hollandaise
- 1 1/2 cups masarepa (see note #1 above)
- 2 ounces (about 1/2 cup) finely crumbled cojita cheese or queso fresco
- 1 1/2 cups water, plus more as necessary
- 1 teaspoon vegetable oil
- Kosher salt
- 2 teaspoons butter
- 1 ripe avocado
- 1 lemon, juiced
- 1/4 cup hot water
- 1/4 cup olive oil
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 1/4 teaspoon pepper
- 8 pieces of Canadian bacon or regular bacon if preferred
- 4 eggs
- Let’s start with the arepas. Preheat oven to 325F if making thicker arepas. Combine masarepa (precooked, ground corn flour), cheese, 1 cup water, and 1 teaspoon vegetable oil in a medium bowl and knead with hands until a dough is formed. Take a small amount and flatten it between your palms. If the edges crack, knead in more water a tablespoon at a time until dough is supple and smooth but not sticky. Season dough to taste with salt, then cover and set aside for five minutes.
- While the arepa dough sets, make the avocado hollandaise. Add the avocado, lemon juice and hot water into a food processor or high powered blender and blend until smooth, scraping down the sides if needed. With the processor running, stream in the olive oil slowly. Continue to blend until pureed and smooth.
- Back to arepas, divide dough into four even pieces and roll into balls. Working on a wooden cutting board or a regular cutting board with a sheet of plastic wrap or parchment paper on top of it, flatten each ball down to a disk about 5-inches in diameter and 1/4-inch thick for thinner and 1/2 inch for thicker and if splitting the arepa.
- Melt butter in a 12-inch cast iron or non-stick skillet over medium-low heat. Add arepas and cook, moving them around the pan and rotating them occasionally, until first side is charred in spots and a dry crust has formed, about five minutes. Flip arepas and cook on second side until a dry crust has formed, about five minutes longer. Transfer the arepas to a baking sheet and bake for another 10 minutes until fully cooked all the way through.
- While the arepas are in the oven, slightly crisp the Canadian bacon in the cast iron skillet and set aside. In a separate pan, prepare the eggs over easy so the yokes are warm but not fully cooked. If you prefer poached eggs, you can poach the eggs at this point.
- To assemble, place 2 pieces of Canadian bacon on top of each arepa. Then layer with eggs and avocado hollandaise.Serve with fruit.