Sunday, September 19, 2010
Queso Fresco's next life - Quesadilla Salvadorena
So, I had 6 oz of Queso Fresco left over from my failed queso attempt - which I might add, was delightful in its own way...can't really screw up cheese! If anything, the failed queso attempt introduced me to Queso Fresco and the fact that it doesn't really melt. I'm not sure if Farmers Cheese is around here, but if I am unable to find it, Queso Fresco will suffice just fine after it is grated down.
I asked Mr. Google what I might do with the rest of my Queso Fresco. A lot of recipes came up where it's used as a garnish on top of some kind of Mexican dish. I had a few thoughts like, oh I wonder if it could be used in a cheesecake? The cheesecake recipe I did find called for more cheese than I had. Then my thought process derailed and I got onto breads. I think some Jewish holiday has recently passed or is in effect and that reminded me of challah and how delicious it is. I know, it's a completely different tangent, but you have to understand this is how my brain works. I started Yelping challah around town, and that's when I started reading about bakeries. While reading over some reviews, I got inspired to google for Queso Fresco and Bread recipes. And that is when I ran across a recipe for Quesadilla Salvadorena.
The recipe calls for 1/2 lb of Queso Fresco, but I figured I'd go ahead with it anyways, 2 oz shy of what I needed. The fun part was grating this cheese. The texture of it after it was done reminded me of that instant snow they have in the malls during Christmas time! The other ingredients of the recipe were all on hand and it was a cinch to put together.
I didn't have two loaf pans to bake them up in, so I used a loaf pan and the rest in an 8x8 pan. The important thing to remember is just to keep an eye out as one will bake up faster than the other. It was about 23 minutes when the 8x8's toothpick came out clean and it was a golden yellow on top. The loaf pan took about 10-15 minutes longer and had a beautiful golden brown color on top.
The texture of the cake is quite dense, but perfect with coffee. I've only had a piece from the 8x8 since I'm halfing the loaf and visiting the neighbors! It's Sunday after all :)