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Fried Cheese

5 Aug

I laughed super hard last week when I was watching some recorded Rocco’s Dinner Party episodes I had on TIVO. In one of the dinner parties, the chefs were presented with a variety of cheeses from around the world… or maybe just France, can’t remember. Well, they needed to pick and serve a cheese course with their suggested party menus.

Rocco was impressed… shall I say very impressed with a FRIED CHEESE bite he was served by one of the chefs. So impressed, he still was bragging about it yesterday during a Twitter thing we had where the viewers/fans can ask him all sorts of questions directly. I laughed all over again yesterday because I replied to him that fried cheese is wonderful… and I knew I had this “recipe”, if we could call it that, in my Pending To Post file. So… let’s Post it along…

I told you about Queso del País… so this is what you do it – you FRY it!!!

Queso Blanco is mild in flavor because it contains still water, or better said, the whey. But as soon as you fry it, the water evaporates, the flavors concentrate and it becomes a salty, delicious bite that can be enjoyed alone as an appetizer or to complement a variety of recipes…


There’s not a lot of science involved in the frying of Queso Blanco… but here are my pointers:

  • Use a non-stick skillet preferably.
  • You can fry it dry or you can use a bit of canola oil spray. I do not find it makes that much of a difference.
  • For some reason I have not figured out, my fried cheeses always deflate… but when you order fried cheese at a restaurant as an appetizer or at a party, they’re always breaded and still square. Maybe they freeze them before frying to hold their shape… I do not know because I have not tried it. But, the flavor is there even if the shape changes. And I do not think you need to bread it to get a nice color/presentation either…
  1. Just cut your pieces of cheese and place in a medium-hot skillet. The cheese will start of ooze some water/whey… let it. Leave it there for about 4-5 minutes until the cheese starts to get a brown, caramelized color.
  2. Flip over and brown the other side. It’ll take less time because most of the water in the cheese has evaporated already.



Enjoy it in various ways:

Today I am enjoying it with corn tortilla chips…

You could also place a few slices of fried cheese inside a tostón sandwich. Actually that’s the original way I was taught to make it and eat it. The tofu solution came afterwards when we had to go dairy-free for a while.


It’s the best topping for Mangú… a Dominican dish made from mashed boiled plantains with lots of onions. I will have to make that one for you sometime soon.

Also, you can add pieces to some stewed peas and convert this to a Guiso Ananda or Mattar Paneer, an Indian dish made with paneer.

Any other ways you like to eat fried cheese??? Any other ways you like to eat it??? Please share all in the COMMENTS section… we love to hear from you.

Albóndiga Sandwich

11 Jul

One of my favorite ways to eat albóndigas is in a sandwich… just like the ones I used to have in Subway, way back when.

Sometimes I make a sub sandwich with a whole wheat demi baguette… but sometimes I do dainty and make them open-faced to control the amount of bread and to make them more suitable for a gathering too. Wouldn’t you love to have one of these sandwiches for a tapas party???

Here are the basic ingredients… you put it together in your favorite way.


Soy Albóndigas
Criollo Tomato Sauce
Lettuce strips
Vegetarian Mayonnaise
Bread – I personally like crusty breads for this because they stand up better to the tomato sauce

You could make it into a submarine sandwich… or cut the baguette into rounds and serve them open-faced with a single soy albóndiga on top.

Sandwich Roll-Call

30 Jun

It’s summer and let’s get real… it’s hot outside and I am not cooking a lot these days.

I am still eating… but a lot of sandwiches. I am a sandwich lover and I’m not afraid to admit it. Here’s a recap of my favorite sandwiches from my kitchens and the kitchens around me:

Veggie Cuban Sandwich

This is my staple sandwich every time I visit a Cuban panadería. A few weeks ago I got to meet President Obama because I had a craving for this sandwich and scheduled a meeting at Kasalta do I could work and eat simultaneously.



President Obama as he arrived at Kasalta Bakery in Ocean Park, Puerto Rico on June 14, 2011.

Tostón Sandwich

My friend Tania taught me how to make these… not something to eat every day, but DELICIOUS!!!



Avocado and Tomato Sandwich

This was a sandwich I have eaten for 5 days straight until I was out of the ingredients… I am not kidding you!!!


TunoFish Sandwich

When I was hospitalized a few years ago, all I wanted after I got out of the hospital was to eat this sandwich… on criollo bread. Yum!!!



Hummus Sandwich

This combination of hummus and grain mustard is unusual, but so freking delicious.  Do not critizice until you’ve tried it.



Veggie Party Sandwiches

This is my staple at kids birthday parties… and I just got a request for an adult birthday party too. They’re just delicious at any age group…


Asparagus Party Sandwiches

These are a bit of a pain to make, but the rewards are so gratifying…


What are your favorite sandwiches???  Please share…  I am always looking for inspiration from you.

SCLT Sandwich

25 Apr

This is grilled cheese sandwich to the MAX… or Panini, however you want to call it.

Trying to capture the flavors and essence of the BLT in a vegetarian, pressed form, I substituted Smoked Cheddar cheese for the Bacon. I learned that melting smoked cheddar cheese in the oven would taste just like bacon. I have not tried it the way dmcavanagh suggested in this thread, but let me tell you, this combination really works.


2 ounces of smoked cheddar cheese
About 2 ounces of cream cheese
1 tbs of butter
A handful of arugula lettuce
3-4 tomato slices
Multi-Grain demi baguette
  1. In a food processor or a Magic Bullet… mix together the cheeses, butter and arugula. Mix together until it becomes a puree.
  2. Slather the cheese puree onto both sides of the bread. Layer the tomato slices in the bottom half and top with the other bread half.
  3. Press in a Panini press or a George Foreman grill for about 5 minutes until the cheese is melted.

I hope you enjoy this sandwich as much as I do…

Oscars-Inspired Party…

25 Feb

I love movies, but I have been a bit behind in my movie viewing lately… This Sunday is the Academy Awards and I have only seen one of the movies nominated for Best Picture – Toy Story 3. Isn’t that awful!!!

Even though I have not seen the movies, I still love to watch the red carpet and the ceremony. I have a friend who religiously celebrates an Oscar watching party every year… So if you’re also into watching the Oscars and would like to nibble something inspired by this year’s nominees, here are a few ideas from the Karma Free Cooking repertoire:

Black Swan

Spinach Pinwheels to emulate the ballerina pirouettes…



Leonardo Di Caprio’s character takes ideas from people’s subconscious… and with these Better-than- Maggiano’s Stuffed Mushrooms I have taken a recipe idea from a restaurant’s menu and made it truly vegetarian.


The Kids are All-Right

A modern family with an alternative lifestyle… just like these Eggless Frittatas, a delicious alternative that does not need to contain eggs to be enjoyed by everyone.


127 Hours

A movie about a hiker’s struggle for 127 hours… and these Rosemary Almonds are the closest thing to a trail mix.


The King’s Speech

Tuno Antipasto served over Tostones is my answer to the traditional English staple “fish and chips”…


The Social Network

When I think of Silicon Valley and technology I think of SanFranciso, where I had the most wonderful avocado sandwich @ Boudin on Fisherman’s Wharf. Here is my version of an Avocado Tomato Sandwich


Toy Story 3

This is a tried and tre favorite for kids… just like my Veggie Party Sandwiches. They’re the most loved by my nieces…


True Grit

A tale set in the Wild West and my BBQ Roasted Potatoes fit that smoky flavor of the outdoors.


Winter’s Bone

I don’t even think I have seen this movie at the local movie theaters… but inspired by the title, let’s celebrate it with a Vanilla Ice Cream topped with Strawberry Sauce.


The Fighter

It was hard to select a recipe to go with The Fighter… but I decided to HONOR my work-horse recipe. The recipe that is my “sure thing” – it’s an appetizer, it’s a sauce, it’s a condiment – my Tomato Basil Bruschetta mix, which has new life when served over pasta as my Marinated Tomatoes Pasta.


Hope you enjoy the Academy Awards celebration this weekend… and may your favorite movies win.

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