Tuesday, June 3, 2008

A Taste of Caracas

I went to Boulder reservoir yesterday and sat in the sun for about.... 4 hours, I applied sunscreen about 4 or 5 times, and still I got sunburned!! I look like a lobster and everything hurts... a LOT :-( specially my butt, I look like the Coppertone girl, only red instead of tan.

So I was officially disabled both yesterday and today. I went to work but I left around noon because it was simply too uncomfortable. So I bought some Aloe Gelly and layed around naked in my room all afternoon watching movies and applying aloe every hour. I still sit down and stand up pretty awkwardly.... but we'll just have to give it a few days.

In any case, what I really wanted to share with you guys in this post was a recipe for Tequeños!!! Which are these really really tasty cheese sticks type thing wrapped in dough and fried. My friend Alvaro from high school gave me the recipe and they turned out WAAAAY better than I expected. So here it goes:

- 500 grams of all-purpose flour (about 4.5 cups)

- 250 grams of unsalted butter at room temperature (about 1 cup = 2 sticks)

- 1/2 Tablespoon of salt (this sounds like a lot,
but it was ok)
- 1 egg
- Luke warm water
- Cotija or Oaxaca cheese cut into 1/2 inch strips (these are mexican cheeses that you can find at most grocerio
es stores these days, they come in a block) you can also use Farmer's cheese

Ok, first of all you must be patient and do this slowly. Mix the butter and flower in a bowl and when it is all even, add the egg. At this point you got a pretty crumbly dough, and so you need to add water
very slowly, maybe a few tablespoons at a ti
me. The amount of water varies with the humidity of your location. Here in Boulder it is really dry, and I used about a cup of water. You will stop adding water as soon as the dough comes together and it is malleable and flexible.

Then I cut the entire thing in half and rolled it really thin (I'm talking 3 millimeters thin) with a rolling pin. The dough was more yellow than it looks in the picture above, I think it was just the lighting in my kitchen.

Then you cut into strips and wrap the cheese sticks in it! You have to make sure that everything is sealed pretty tightly, you don't want the cheese oozing out. So I also rolled it in my hands and used my fingers to make sure there were no gaps. Next you get some oil in a pan and make sure it is really hot before frying, but not quite smoking, that is too hot. Fry until golden brown and drain on a paper towel.

They are usually served as an appetizer. Serve hot with some ketchup or my personal favorite "pink sauce" (salsa rosada), on the side. Pink sauce is just a mix of ketchup, mayonnaise and ground pepper, in whatever proportions you prefer. You can also add Tabasco sauce, Worcestershire sauce, or whatever you please. If it looks pink in the end, you got pink sauce :-)

I didn't have any mayo, so I enjoyed them with a little ketchup. They turned out delicious! and now I know I can enjoy a little taste oh home anytime I want!!!
I had 12 ounces of cotija cheese and about 30 tequeños turned out, but I only used half of the dough. I wrapped the rest in plastic stuck it in the fridge. I'm not sure how long it'll keep, so I plan on buying more cheese tomorrow. Yuuuummmmmm!


Steve Hanna said...

i am making this posthaste.

Parisa said...

Which is yummier... an oiled up and naked Leo or fried cheese in dough. Verdict is still out }:-)

Queen of the Bongo said...

People, people... FOCUS.