Everything you wanted to know about Mexican cheese
- Stanley Stephan
I found this nice article on Mexican cheeses. At the end it has some other links. The link to the Cacique Cheese company at the end is wonderful. If you don't read the article, here's the web site
It has descriptions of about 14 Mexican cheeses with matching recipes for each specific cheese. The descriptions of the cheeses are quite poetic as well. They describe the Oaxaca as follows:
"The jewelers of Oaxaca once fashioned ceremonial finery unequaled by any other pre-columbian culture in Mexico. This ivory ball of slightly aged string cheese follows the tradition with its intricately woven strands, enfolding a treasure of taste."
They also sell six types of cremas. Of the Crema Mexicana Agria, the description starts "As white as the full moon over Mexico ..."
The description of the cremas in general is lovely
"Have you ever tasted cream just skimmed off the top of fresh milk? Get the idea? Our array of thick, buttery Hispanic creams is so divine, so exquisite, that their use knows no boundaries but inspires all kinds of creative culinary conjuring - entrees, desserts, sauces."
Anyway, interesting and informative site. The following link is a Mexican cheese primer from a Southern California newspaper.
Christina ssys she will be kind enough to post a regional Mexican recipe for minguichi. She was giving me some info about Mexican cheeses, amoung other things, on the California board. I thought people in general might be interested in the recipe.
It uses a Mexican cottage cheese called requesón.
re: Stanley Stephan
By popular request:
---MINGUICHI REGIONAL DE LA MESETA TARASCA---
12 eggs, beaten
1 kilo requesón
8 oz crema ranchera
6 chiles serrano (or more, if you like heat)
1 large white onion, cut in half and sliced thin
salt to taste
8 chiles húngaro, stem on
1 small ball of queso oaxaca
Slice chiles húngaro lengthwise along one side and remove seeds. Stuff each chile with a small amount of queso oaxaca. Close chile as tightly as possible; use a toothpick if you like, although this is not necessary.
Slice chiles serrano in lengthwise quarters. Sauté in vegetable oil together with the sliced onion until soft in a large, heavy frying pan.
Mix beaten egg and requesón together. Add the crema ranchera until the mix is fluffy. You may not need the full 8 oz.
While the chiles serrano and the onions finish softening, heat a griddle and let the stuffed chiles hungaro begin to roast. They should soften but not burn.
Raise the heat under the chiles serrano/onions and add the requesón/egg/cream mix. It will become slightly golden brown on one side; turn it (it's not easy) and allow it to brown slightly on the other side.
Serve each portion (approximately a cup) topped with a roasted chile húngaro spread across the minguichi.
Serve with hot tortillas, preferably slightly toasted on the griddle, and mugs of steaming atole de guayaba or café de olla.
Can you supply gringo equivalencies for:
--small ball of queso oaxaca
In other words, what would one buy at the local neighborhood Safeway?
Also, what is the nature of Minguichi? Is it a breakfast dish? A type of souffle or fluffy omelet? How many does it feed?
One kilo=2.2 pounds
Requesón=Mexican cottage cheese. Substitute ricotta.
Crema ranchera=creme fraiche, or thick Mexican cream. Most grocery stores in larger cities in the States now stock Mexican cream, in jars, in the Mexican food section of the cheese/dairy case.
Chiles húngaro=long, hot, pale green 'Hungarian' chiles
Oaxaca cheese...hmmm...you could substitute Monterrey Jack. You can probably find Oaxaca cheese at your Safeway, right near the Mexican cream.
Minguichi is a fluffy fried cheese/egg dish, generally served for breakfast. It's not an omelet, it's not a souffle...it's minguichi! This recipe would make enough for 6-8 people. Enjoy.