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The Hawk News

The Student News Site of St. Joseph's University

The Hawk News

The Student News Site of St. Joseph's University

The Hawk News

Faculty Foods: Claudia Páez Lotero’s, Ph.D., Colombian Arepas

Páez Lotero said arepas are part of her family tradition. PHOTO COURTESY OF CLAUDIA PÁEZ LOTERO.

Due to the coronavirus pandemic, people have spent more time in their homes trying new recipes. The Hawk will feature recipes submitted by St. Joe’s faculty members to connect with one another through food.

Claudia Páez Lotero, Ph.D., assistant professor of Spanish, who immigrated to the U.S. 10 years ago from Colombia, shared her arepas recipe with The Hawk. Arepas are a traditional Colombian dish, similar to a Mexican tortilla, but bigger and thicker. Páez Lotero said she wants to share this recipe because arepas are part of her family tradition.

“I have a lot of memories of making arepas with my mom when I was a child, so that’s something that we used to do on Saturdays with my brother,” Páez Lotero said. “For me, I love arepas because of the flavor, they’re delicious, but also I love them because of the memories that I associate with them.”

Enjoy arepas as a snack, or serve it as the perfect side dish to your next meal.


Time: 30 minutes (10 minutes active)
Servings: 5-7
1 cup precooked corn flour
1⁄2 cup shredded “Queso Campesino” or mozzarella cheese
1 tablespoon butter
1 pinch of salt
1 cup warm water (not boiling)

Combine corn flour, butter, cheese and salt in a large bowl.

Pour warm water into the bowl in small increments and knead until the dough has a soft, moldable and moist consistency. Do
not use all the water unless necessary.

Divide the dough equally into five to seven pieces and form medium size balls, about the size of a golf ball.

Flatten the balls and shape them into flat disks with your hands.

Preheat a griddle or a skillet on high heat.

Once the griddle is hot, add arepas and cook them on both sides until golden.

Optional: add butter, cheese or a fried egg.

Serve while warm and enjoy.

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