Today we are going to learn a Venezuelan recipe for a very versatile dish, the protagonist of parties and celebrations in the Latin American country, which I discovered by chance and was delighted with it.
Our dish today is called tequeño, they are fresh cheese sticks rolled in pizza dough that are eaten especially as a tapa, but can perfectly substitute a breakfast, a starter or a snack.
The origin of this typical Venezuelan appetizer is not very clear, but everything indicates that it was an invention of a family from the city of Los Teques that became popular in the mid-twentieth century, hence its name “tequeño”.
I met him by chance one night when I went out to dinner in the center of Madrid and we went to La Rollerie, a restaurant that is very fashionable for its extensive menu of international dishes and whose premises are decorated in a very cool French Provencal style.
We wanted to order an entree to share, and the Venezuelan girl who served us invited us to try the tequeños. They were accompanied by red fruit jam and the dough was a delight. The contrast between the salty cheese, the crunchy dough and the sweet jam, we fell in love.
That is why today they are in La Cocina Fácil de Parmelia, and although it may seem like a very simple recipe, I will give you some secrets that I have found, so that you can enjoy this delicious and versatile snack at home.
- 1 kilo of all-purpose wheat flour
- 200 gr of butter
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 2 tablespoons sugar
- 250 ml cold water
- 2kg of semi-hard Latin cheese
- 4 cups of corn oil (for frying)
Cut the cheese into strips about 1.5 cm wide by 5 or 6 centimeters long.
Mix the flour with the butter, which should not be too cold, it should have the consistency of ointment. Make sure it is not lumpy and that the butter is well incorporated.
Dilute the salt and sugar in the water.
Add the water mixture little by little to the flour and knead vigorously until it is smooth and does not stick to your fingers. Make a ball cover it with plastic and let it rest for 45 minutes to an hour at room temperature.
Sprinkle flour on a flat surface and with the help of a rolling pin, roll out the dough to form a square of approximately ½ cm. of thickness. Then cut into long strips about 1 cm wide with the help of a sharp knife.
Place the cheese at one end of the dough strip and wrap in a spiral, make sure it is being sealed, finish at the other end (completely cover the cheese). Seal the ends with your fingers and a little water to prevent the cheese from coming off when you fry it.
This is a trick that I have discovered works wonders so that the cheese does not come out of its packaging: as you go making each tequeño, cover it with a little flour and put it in the freezer for a couple of hours before frying.
Just before eating, heat the oil over high heat in a high frying pan. When the oil is hot, lower the heat to medium. Make sure the oil covers the tequeños well and you don’t fry more than 6 at a time.
When the tequeños are golden brown and crispy they will be ready to eat.
As a last tip, I recommend that you prepare a sauce to dip the tequeños in each bite, a sweet mustard, a jam or simply ketchup will complete the experience 100%
Enjoy! and see you at La Mansión de las Ideas.