When in Manila, in a generation filled with restaurants rising left and right, how will you be able to enjoy your meals at home? Simple, cook them. Cooking does not only make you extra attractive (haha) but it also lets you enjoy the process. You will appreciate how satisfying it is to cook on your own and learn all nitty gritty details that went to your meal. Lastly, you will form a bond with food like no other. So if you want to upgrade the way you eat, learn how to cook.
This was what I learned when I got a lovely package of cheese (yes, CHEESE) personally delivered to my house. It was handed to me by a charming woman with a smile on her face, and as she gave me the cold plastic container with the soft white cheese inside it, I had a lightbulb moment–why not eat this cheese differently?
Kesong Puti is white cheese made from unskimmed carabao’s milk. It’s super soft and has slight salty taste. In the Philippines it’s usually eaten with pandesal and kapeng barako. However, I did not want to eat it that way. (hipster alert) Kesong Puti and I go way back, right when I was still in my mother’s womb (yes, pinaglihi ako sa kesong puti at pandesal) , so eating it differently would be a total upgrade for my relationship with Kesong Puti.
I started with an appetizer of some sort, cheese poppers, much like mozzarella sticks but smaller and filled with Mama Jessie’s Kesong Puti goodness.
Ingredients: egg, flour, seasoned breadcrumbs (dried basil, dried parsely, salt, pepper) and Mama Jessie’s Kesong Puti
For starters, Kesong Puti is a super soft cheese but it has a gelatinous texture that holds itself together. Unlike mozzarella, it will be a challenge to make into poppers. To prepare and cook it needs extra TLC. Start cutting Mama Jessie’s Kesong Puti horizontally about and inch wide. Dip it in flour, egg, and seasoned bread crumbs. You need to repeat this to build it up and make the coating “sturdier”. Then put it inside a container and leave it inside the freezer for at least 2 hours. This is a vital step so that it won’t crumble if you cook it. After such, you can either fry (please heat the oil first) or bake it (250 degrees for 5-8 mins). Add marinara sauce on the side for dipping and enjoy while watching your favorite movie!
Mama Jessie’s Kesong Puti Poppers