Category Archives: Lunch


Ecuadorian Potato Cakes (Llapingachos)

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Ingredients (Potato Pancakes):

  • 6 medium potatoes, such as Yukon gold, peeled and cubed
  • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil, divided
  • 1 medium onion, finely diced
  • ¼ cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 packet Sazon with coriander and annatto
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • ¼ teaspoon pepper
  • 1 cup shredded Tropical Queso Ecuatoriano
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil

Ingredients (Fresh Salsa):

  • 2 medium tomatoes, diced
  • ¼ cup finely diced red onion
  • 2 tablespoons chopped cilantro
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon red wine vinegar
  • ½ cup prepared Peanut Sauce

Prepare Potato Pancakes:
Fill large saucepan ¾ full of water. Add potatoes; over high heat, heat to boiling. Reduce heat to low; simmer 15 minutes until potatoes are tender. Drain well. Mash potatoes. You should have about 3 cups.

Meanwhile, in small skillet over medium heat, in 1 tablespoon hot oil, cook onion until just tender, about 5 minutes, stirring occasionally. In large bowl combine mashed potatoes, sautéed onion, flour, Sazon, salt and pepper until combined. Stir in shredded Queso until well mixed. Shape ¼ cupful potato mixture into sixteen 3-inch-round patties, each about ½-inch thick.

Prepare Salsa:
In medium bowl combine tomato, red onion, cilantro, olive oil and red wine vinegar to mix well. Set aside.

In 12-inch skillet over medium-high heat, in 1tablespoon olive oil, cook half of potato pancakes until well browned on both sides. Remove to plate. Repeat with remaining potato pancakes and olive oil. Serve with fresh salsa and peanut sauce. Makes 16.


Salvadoran Enchilada

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Ingredients (Enchiladas):

  • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 4 small/mini corn tortillas (about 5 inches)
  • 1 cup refried beans, warmed
  • 1 ½ cups Tropical Queso Fresco Centroamericano, crumbled
  • 1 large tomato, sliced
  • 1 ripe avocado, peeled, pitted and sliced
  • 2 hard-cooked eggs, peeled and sliced

Ingredients (Spicy Crema):

  • ½ cup Tropical Crema Centroamericana
  • ½ teaspoon hot pepper sauce or to taste

In large skillet over medium heat-high heat, in hot oil, cook tortillas until well browned and crisp on both sides, turning once.

On each tortilla, spread ¼ cup refried beans. Top each with1/4 cup Queso Fresco and sliced tomatoes; top with sliced avocado and eggs.

In small bowl combine crema and hot pepper sauce until well blended. Top each tortilla with a dollop of spicy crema. Serve with additional Queso Fresco and spicy crema. Serves 4.


Queso Fresco Ravioli

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  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 small onion, finely diced
  • 2 cups finely crumbled Tropical Queso Fresco, divided
  • 1 cup thawed frozen chopped spinach, well drained
  • 1/4 cup grated Tropical Cotija cheese
  • 1 large egg
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • 8 ounces prepared/store-bought Fresh Pasta Sheets
  • 4 tablespoons butter
  • 8 Fresh Sage Leaves plus more for garnish

In 10-inch skillet over medium heat, in hot oil, cook onion until just tender, about 5 minutes. In medium bowl combine cooked onion, 1 ½ cups Queso Fresco, spinach, egg, Cotija and salt to mix well.

Place fresh pasta sheets on lightly floured work surface. With knife, cut into 2-inch by 2-inch squares. Top half of pasta squares each with heaping teaspoonful of spinach mixture; place a pasta square on filling mixture. With hands, press edges together to seal closed. Repeat with remaining mixture. Set aside.

Heat large saucepot of salted water to boiling. Meanwhile, in 12-inch skillet over medium heat, melt 2 tablespoons butter with 4 sage leaves; set aside. Carefully add ravioli to boiling water. Cook 3 to 4 minutes or until ravioli float and are cooked through. With slotted spoon, remove ravioli from water, draining well. Place half of ravioli in skillet with butter and sage. Toss to coat well. Cook 3 minutes until lightly browned, turning once. Repeat with remaining ingredients. Garnish with additional sage leaves. Sprinkle with remaining ½ cup Queso Fresco. Serve immediately. Serves 4.


Colombian Corn Cakes (Envuelto de Maiz)

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  • 3 ears fresh corn-on-cob
  • 1 cup crumbled Tropical Quesito Colombiano, divided
  • ¼ cup yellow corn meal
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 tablespoon softened butter
  • ½ teaspoon salt


Remove husks from corn cobs; set aside. Cut kernels from cobs to make 2 cups. In blender or food processor combine corn kernels, 3/4 cup crumbled cheese, corn meal, egg, butter and salt. Process until smooth.

Place large outer corn husk on work surface; spoon 1 heaping tablespoon corn mixture in center of corn husk. Fold top and sides over to enclose filling. Tie with a thin piece of corn husk. Repeat with remaining ingredients to make 12 packages.

Place corn packages in large steamer basket; over high heat, heat water to boiling. Cover steamer and steam corn packages 1 hour.

To serve, open corn package; sprinkle with remaining crumbled cheese. Makes 12.


Queso Blanco and Spinach Stuffed Chicken Breasts

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  • 2 tablespoons olive oil, divided
  • 1 small onion, finely diced
  • 2 cups fresh spinach, chopped
  • 1 cup shredded Tropical Queso Blanco, divided
  • 4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • ¼ teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1/8 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 4 large slices prosciutto
  • Sautéed Green Beans and Cooked Tostones, optional


In 12-inch skillet over medium heat, in 1tablespoon olive oil, cook onion until just tender. Add spinach; cook 3 minutes until wilted, stirring occasionally. Remove vegetables to bowl; stir in ¾ cup shredded Queso Blanco.

With knife, cut a horizontal pocket in each chicken breast. Spoon spinach mixture into each pocket. In small cup combine salt, cumin and pepper; sprinkle chicken breasts with mixture. With toothpick, skewer each opening of chicken closed.

Preheat oven to 425°F. In 12-inch skillet over medium-high heat, in remaining tablespoon oil, cook chicken breasts until browned on both sides. Remove to plate. Sprinkle top of chicken with remaining ¼ cup Queso Blanco (1 teaspoon on each).Wrap each chicken breast with a slice of prosciutto. Place on baking sheet. Bake 15 to 20 minutes until chicken is tender and prosciutto is browned. Serve with green beans and tostones if desired. Serves 4.


Queso Blanco and Chorizo Mashed Potato Cheese Bites

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  • 1 Tropical chorizo
  • 1 10-ounce package Tropical Queso Blanco
  • 2 cups mashed potatoes (leftover)
  • 1/3 cup chopped chives
  • ¾ teaspoon salt
  • ¼ teaspoon ground black pepper
  • ½ cup all-purpose flour
  • 2 large eggs, beaten
  • 1 cup seasoned panko bread crumbs
  • Vegetable oil for frying
  • Fresh chives for garnish

Remove casing from chorizo; crumble chorizo. In small skillet over medium-high heat, cook chorizo until well browned, stirring occasionally. Remove to plate.

Shred half of cheese to make 1 ½ cups. Cut remaining half into ½-inch cubes. In large bowl combine mashed potatoes, shredded cheese, chives, salt and pepper; mix well. Shape mixture into 2-inch balls. Press thumb into center of each ball to make an indentation. Add some crumbled cooked chorizo and cube of cheese into indentation. Pinch potato mixture around filling to enclose completely. Repeat with remaining mixture.

Roll each potato ball in flour to cover completely. Then roll in beaten egg; roll in breadcrumbs to coat completely. Repeat with remaining ingredients.

Heat oil 2 inches vegetable oil in medium saucepan. Or, heat oil in deep-fryer to 350°F. Fry potato balls, a few at a time, until golden brown and crisp, about 3 minutes. Repeat with remaining potato balls. Garnish with chives. Makes 18.


Tex-Mex Cobb Salad

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Ingredients (Salad):

  • 4 TROPICAL Mexican Chorizos
  • 1 small head Romaine lettuce, cut up
  • 1 cup cherry tomatoes, each quartered
  • 1 cup fresh cooked or canned corn
  • ½ cup TROPICAL Queso Fresco Mexicano, crumbled
  • 2 hard-cooked eggs, chopped
  • 1 ripe avocado, pitted, peeled and diced
  • ¼ cup diced red onion

Ingredients (Dressing):

  • 2 tablespoons fresh lime juice
  • 1 tablespoon chopped fresh cilantro
  • 3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • Salt and pepper to taste


Prepare salad: In 10-inch skillet, over medium-high heat, cook chorizo about 10 minutes or until browned on all sides, stirring occasionally. Remove from skillet; cut into small chunks.

On large platter, place lettuce. Top with cherry tomatoes, corn, Queso Fresco, hard-cooked eggs, avocado, red onion and cooked chorizos.

Prepare dressing: In small bowl combine lime juice and cilantro; whisk in olive oil until mixture is blended and smooth. Add salt and pepper to taste. Pour over salad; toss to mix well.

Serves 4.


Cheesy Stuffed Peppers

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  • 3 TROPICAL Chorizo Mexicano
  • 1 tablespoon vegetable oil
  • 1 small onion, chopped
  • 1 small zucchini, chopped
  • 1 cup cooked long-grain rice
  • ½ cup tomato sauce
  • ½ teaspoon dried oregano
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup TROPICAL Queso Fresco Mexicano, crumbled
  • 4 large poblano peppers
  • ½ cup TROPICAL Crema Mexicana


Remove casings from chorizos. In 12-inch skillet, over medium-high heat, cook chorizo until well browned on all sides, stirring occasionally. With slotted spoon, remove to plate.

In same skillet, in hot oil, cook onion and zucchini about 5 minutes or until tender-crisp, stirring occasionally. Stir in rice, tomato sauce, oregano, salt and cooked chorizo. Cook 10 minutes, stirring occasionally to blend flavors.

Preheat oven to 350° F. Stir ¾ cup Queso Fresco into sausage mixture. Cut each poblano pepper lengthwise in half; remove seeds. Spoon sausage mixture into each pepper half. Place in 12- x-8-inch baking dish; sprinkle halves with remaining ¼ cup Queso Fresco. Cover with foil and bake for 20 minutes. Remove cover and bake 10 minutes longer or until peppers are tender.

To serve, drizzle with crema.

Serves 4.


Sausage and Vegetable Pizza

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  • 1 10-ounce package TROPICAL Dominican Longaniza sausage
  • 1 yellow bell pepper, cored and thinly sliced
  • 1 green bell pepper, cored and thinly sliced
  • 1 small yellow onion, thinly sliced
  • 1 pound prepared pizza dough
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 medium tomato, thinly sliced
  • ½ 10-ounce package TROPICAL Queso Blanco, shredded


In 12-inch skillet over medium-high heat, cook sausage until well browned on all sides, turning occasionally. Remove sausage to plate.

In drippings remaining in skillet over medium heat, cook yellow peppers, green peppers and onion until tender-crisp, stirring occasionally.

Preheat oven to 450° F. Cut sausages into thin slices. Grease 12-inch pizza pan. Press pizza dough into pan. Brush with olive oil. Arrange half of shredded cheese over pizza dough. Top with sautéed vegetables and sliced sausages. Arrange sliced tomatoes over vegetables. Sprinkle with remaining cheese.

Place pizza in oven. Cook for 15 minutes or until cheese is melted and crust is browned and golden.

Serves 6.


Ripe Plantains with Crema & Queso Fresco

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  • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 2 large ripe plantains, peeled and sliced lengthwise on a diagonal
  • ½ cup TROPICAL Fresco Centroamericano, crumbled
  • ¼ cup TROPICAL Crema Centroamericana


In 12-inch skillet, over medium-high heat, in hot vegetable oil, cook plantain slices until well browned and golden on both sides, turning occasionally.

Place cooked plantains on large platter. Sprinkle with Queso Fresco and drizzle with crema.

Serves 4.