Monday, July 4, 2011

seared queso fresco with cilantro mojo

you will need: large nonstick skillet, medium saucepan, blender, spatula, platter
yields 8 servings

3 tablespoons olive oil, divided
2 12-ounce package queso fresco, cut into finger-size sticks
3/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
1 cup coarsely chopped fresh cilantro
4 garlic cloves, finely chopped
1 serrano chile, seeded, finely chopped
1 tablespoon (packed) chopped fresh basil
2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
1 tablespoon fresh lime juice
salt and pepper

heat extra virgin olive oil in saucepan over medium heat. add cilantro, garlic, chile, and basil; stir 10 seconds. pour mixture into blender and add vinegar and lime juice. blend 10 seconds (do not puree until smooth). season to taste with salt and pepper.

can be made one day ahead (make extra and used as a marinade).

heat half oil in heavy skillet over medium-high heat. working in batches, add cheese sticks to skillet and cook until beginning to brown and soften, about 40-60 seconds per side. adding remaining oil to skillet as needed until all cheese is seared.

drizzle cheese with cilantro mojo. remaining mojo can be served alongside in small dipping bowl.

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