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These "lazy" cheese arepas with slaw are a great way to use masa harina in your cast-iron skillet.

If you love, cherish and season your cast-iron skillet like it’s a member of the family, we have a new cookbook for your library. Food writer and cookbook author Charlotte Druckman’s latest collection of recipes all take place on the searing-hot surface of a heavy iron pan. These cheese arepas with slaw are a savory, melty treat you’ll make again and again. 

These arepas are based on a recipe for the Colombian-style ones, which are distinguished from their Venezuelan counterparts by their flatter, larger shape and the fact that they can be made with yellow — as opposed to white — corn. This, I learned from Maricel E. Presilla’s encyclopedic cookbook Gran Cocina Latina, where I discovered arepas de queso asadas, or grilled corn and cheese arepas.

When Ms. Presilla makes them at home, she chars them under the broiler. I created a similar effect without a grill or an oven (which is where the “lazy” comes from — and where it stops). For textural contrast, I incorporate seared corn kernels into the batter. Then I work at least two types of cheese into the dough. The cool crunch of the lime-splashed slaw makes the corn-flecked arepas seem even warmer, softer and gooier by comparison. It’s worth the extra effort.

Reprinted with permission from Stir, Sizzle, Bake