Tuesday, May 19, 2015

How to marry cheese and tomato in a happy & unique way.

Cheese in tomato sauce (12A)I think we can all agree that cheese and tomatoes are one of the best food couples. They appear together in many different recipes, making delicious dishes like enchiladas, pizzas, and pastas. This recipe, however, is unique in that the cheese and tomato take center stage as the main ingredients. My mother used to make this recipe when I was a kid, and so it brings back happy memories from my childhood when I cook it. It reminds me of how my Dad would always come back from work carrying a bag of groceries from the market and another from the bakery. When the tomatoes where in season, he would buy the juiciest ones available and we would seat outside on the porch and eat them with a sprinkle of salt.

florida tomatoesDid you know that the use of tomatoes in cooking actually originated in Mexico? From there cultivation has spread all over the world. Here in the east coast of the U.S. (as in many places around the world), the juiciest tomatoes are only available during the summertime, unless, of course, you buy tomatoes grown in sunny Florida, where the weather allows for production that lasts from October to June. There the tomatoes are grown by families of growers that are committed to healthy and sustainable farming practices, resulting in nutritious, fresh, and delicious tomatoes. So, next time you’re at your grocery store shopping for vegetables, make sure to get Florida-grown tomatoes!
Check out these videos HERE about how tomatoes are grown in Florida.
Now to my mom’s recipe:Cheese in tomato sauce (1)
SERVES 4
INGREDIENTS:
3 cups of tomatoes, chopped (About 20 oz)
1/3 cup white onion, chopped
1 large garlic, chopped
1 tbs vegetable oil
2 poblano peppers, roasted, cleaned and cut into strips*
2 serrano peppers, cut into strips lengthwise (optional)
8 oz Queso Fresco, cut in 1/2-IN cubes **
Salt and pepper to taste

 NOTES:
*There are several versions of this dish; some don’t include the Poblano pepper strips and only use the Serrano peppers.
**This is the way my mom prepares this dish, but some cooks use panela cheese or even dried cheese, depending of the region. Some will be saltier than others, depending the cheese you could find, taste it before seasoning your tomato sauce.

DIRECTIONS:
Cheese in tomato sauce (11)

1. Place the chopped tomatoes, onion and garlic in your blender and process until you have a smooth sauce.
2. Heat oil in a medium size skillet, add the Poblano pepper strips (and Serrano, if using), and fry for about 2 minutes at medium high heat.
3. Pour the tomato mixture into the skillet and stir. Bring to a boil and then lower heat to simmer for about 6-8 minutes until the sauce thickens. Add the cubes of cheese and season with salt and pepper. Lower the heat, a simmer just for a couple of minutes to allow the cheese to warm. Remove skillet from heat to avoid melting the cheese.
4. Serve warm with a side of refried beans and handmade corn tortillas for a nice early lunch.

¡Buen provecho!
Mely
Cheese in tomato sauce (7)

This is a sponsored post. Comments and recipe are my own.













1 comment:

  1. This dish sounds wonderful. I definitely will make it. Our tomatoes in the garden are starting to get their flowers. Soon many tomatoes, squash, various chili and the cooking begins.:) Great post. Thanks for sharing.

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