Pulled Pork Arepas

Say good-bye to hamburger buns. Barbecued pulled pork just found a new home in arepas (griddled Venezuelan corn patties). Topped with a creamy cilantro and lime-spiked slaw, these American South-meets-South America pockets are a worthy mash-up.
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  • Level: Easy
  • Total: 30 min
  • Active: 30 min
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Ingredients

1/3 cup mayonnaise

1 tablespoon yellow mustard

Juice of 1 lime

16 pickled jalapeno slices, plus 2 tablespoons brine

Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper

1 1/2 cups thinly sliced green cabbage

1 1/2 cups thinly sliced red cabbage

1/2 cup fresh cilantro leaves, chopped

3 scallions, thinly sliced

2 cups pre-cooked white cornmeal, such as P.A.N.

4 ounces part-skim mozzarella, sliced 1/4-inch thick and cut into eight 2 1/2-inch squares

1/4 cup vegetable oil

8 ounces warm pulled pork

Directions

  1. Position a rack in the center of the oven and preheat to 350 degrees F.
  2. Whisk together the mayonnaise, mustard, lime juice, jalapeno brine, 1 teaspoon salt and 1/4 teaspoon pepper in a large bowl. Add the cabbages, cilantro and scallions and toss. Let sit for 15 minutes.
  3. Stir together 2 1/2 cups lukewarm water and 1 1/2 teaspoons salt in a large bowl. Gradually add the cornmeal to the water, using your fingers to stir and combine, until a soft and moist dough forms.
  4. Divide the dough into 8 balls and pat each into a patty about 5 inches wide and 1/4-inch-thick.
  5. Put a cube of mozzarella in the center of each patty. Fold the dough over the cheese, making sure the cheese is completely covered and sealed. Pat it back down until 3 1/2 inches wide and 3/4 inch thick.
  6. Heat the oil in a large skillet over medium-low heat until shimmering. Working in batches, cook the corn patties until golden brown, about 5 minutes per side; make sure the oil is hot for each batch. Transfer to a cooling rack set on a rimmed baking sheet and bake until the edges are crisp and golden, about 10 minutes.
  7. When the arepas are cool enough to handle, use a thin serrated knife to slice a third of the way through each. Then use the knife tip to cut open the center of each to form a pocket, taking care to keep the sides intact. Wipe down the knife between cuts to remove any sticky cornmeal. Stuff each arepa with some pulled pork, jalapenos and coleslaw.