Keshi Yena (Stuffed Cheese)

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Numerous variations on this dish appear throughout the ABC islands, but this is the one most commonly served on Curaçao.


  • 1 small Edam cheese

  • 3 tomatoes, chopped and peeled

  • 2 onions, sliced

  • 1 clove garlic, minced

  • 1 bell pepper, chopped

  • 1/4 cup sliced olives

  • 1 tablespoon capers

  • 1 tablespoon parsley

  • ½ habanero chile, seeds and stem removed, minced (or more to taste)

  • ½ cup raisins

  • 1 tablespoon tomato paste

  • 2 teaspoons Worcestershire sauce

  •  tablespoons ketchup

  • 2 tablespoons mustard

  • 2 pounds. shredded chicken or ground meat

  • ½ cup vegetable oil

  • 5 eggs

  • Salt and pepper to taste


Slice the top of the cheese and preserve. Gently scoop out the inside, leaving a 1/4 to ½ inch shell. The cheese should resemble a hollowed out pumpkin.

In a large skillet, saute the vegetables, seasonings and meat in the vegetable oil; simmer for about 20 minutes. Beat 4 eggs and stir into the mixture. Spoon into the cheese shell, replace the top and spread remaining beaten egg on top to seal. Grease a shallow baking dish and fill it with about 1 inch of water. Set the cheese in the dish and bake for 1 to 1 ½ hours at 350 degrees F. The cheese will expand and flatten slightly but keep its basic shape. Serve hot, cut into wedges.

Grilled Green Chile Cheese Tamales with Avocado Cream

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Oh no, not a grilled tamale! But it works–if you can keep the corn husks from burning. And for that, be armed with a spray bottle filled with water. These tamales can be served as an entree or as a side dish. You can tie the tamales together with string or with a thin strip of corn husk. Serve with Mexican rice, squash with tomatoes and green chile, and flan for dessert.


For the Tamales:

  • 15 dried corn husks

  • ½ cup cornmeal

  • 1/3 cup milk

  • 2 tablespoons butter

  • 1 tablespoon instant masa mix

  • 1 tablespoon sugar

  • 1 teaspoon salt

  • ½ cup whole kernel corn

For the Green Chile Cheese Filling:

  • 6 to 8 green New Mexican chiles, roasted, peeled, stems and seeds removed, cut in strips

  • 1/3 cup finely chopped onions

  • 6 ounces asadero cheese, coarsely grated or substitute Monterey Jack cheese

  • 1/3 cup chopped black olives

  • Avocado Cream

  • 2 medium avocados, peeled and chopped

  • 2 jalapeño chiles, stems and seeds removed, chopped

  • 2 tablespoons chopped onions

  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice

  • 2 teaspoons chopped fresh cilantro

  • 1/4 teaspoon garlic salt

To Finish

  • Sour cream, chopped fresh cilantro for garnish


For the Tamales:

Place the corn husks in water in a large bowl, weigh down with a plate and soak for 30 minutes or until soft.

Combine the cornmeal, milk, butter, masa, sugar and salt in a saucepan and simmer for a couple of minutes. Cool and add the corn.

Drain the husks, pat dry with paper towels, and lay on a flat surface. Place two together, overlapping a little. Spread some of the cornmeal mixture on a husk, cover with chile strips, then onions, olives, and cheese. Place another layer of the cornmeal on top, pull the husks over the top and tie at both ends. Repeat until you have 6 packets.

Arrange the tamales around the edge of a high heat grill. Cook until the filling sets, turning occasionally, spraying with water to keep the husks from burning. 45 to 60 minutes.

For the Green Chile Cheese Filling:

Place all the ingredients for the avocado cream in a blender or food processor and puree until smooth

To serve, slice open the tamale, spoon in the avocado cream, top with a dollop of sour cream and sprinkle with the cilantro.


Grape-Grilled Quail w/ Goat Cheese Rounds

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Although many Southwest barbecues and grilled meats utilize mesquite, it is not the only aromatic wood to use–experiment with pecan, apple, peach, and grape clippings. If you use charcoal for the main fire, be sure to soak the wood for an hour in water before grilling. Note: This recipe requires advance preparation.


  • 12 quail

  • 2 ancho chiles, seeds and stems removed

  • 2/3 cup olive oil

  • 1/4 cup orange juice

  • 2 tablespoons lime juice

  • 1 clove garlic

  • 6 2-ounce goat cheese rounds

  • 2 tablespoons olive oil

  • 1/4 cup dried corn bread crumbs

  • 6 6-inch pieces of thick grape vine clippings, soaked in water

  • Salsa of choice


Cut the wing tips off the quail, then split the birds down the back and remove the backbone. With a knife tip, remove the rib bones from each quail, and then slice open the thigh bones to remove the bones and joint, taking care to keep the skin intact. Open up each quail and press the legs together, securing them with toothpicks.

Simmer the chiles in water for 15 minutes. Place the chiles in a blender along with the olive oil, orange and lime juices, and the garlic and puree. Pour this sauce over the quail and marinate for an hour.

While the quail are marinating, prepare a medium-hot charcoal fire and preheat the oven to 350°F. Brush each goat cheese round with olive oil, coat with corn bread crumbs, and bake for 5 minutes. If you start the baking just when the quail are being grilled, both should be done at the same time.

Add the grape clippings to the coals, arrange the quail skin side down on the rack and grill for 2 minutes, taking care not to burn them. Turn the quail and grill for an additional 2 minutes.

If the skin is not yet crisp, turn once more and grill for an additional minute.

Serve 2 quail on each plate with a goat cheese round and garnished with the salsa.

Grilled Peach Halves w/ cheese chipotle raspberry puree

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Do not peel the peaches. The Chipotle chile adds a nice hint of heat and smoke to this spectacular way to end a great meal off the grill. An interesting variation is to substitute Stilton cheese for the goat cheese.


  • 2 tablespoons brown sugar

  • 2 tablespoons lime juice

  • 3 tablespoons raspberry vinegar

  • 2 firm ripe peaches, cut in half vertically, pits removed

  • Finely chopped walnuts for garnish

  • Cheese Filling

  • 2 tablespoons cream cheese, at room temperature

  • 2 tablespoons goat cheese, at room temperature

  • Raspberry Puree

  • 1 1/2 cups frozen raspberries

  • 1 teaspoon lemon juice

  • 1 tablespoon sugar

  • ½ teaspoon ground chipotle chile


Combine the brown sugar, lime juice, and vinegar in a small saucepan and simmer for 10 minutes to thicken slightly. Remove from the heat, allow to cool, add the peaches, and marinate for an additional 20 minutes. .

In a small bowl, mix the cheeses together and let sit at room temperature for 30 minutes to blend the flavors.

To make the puree, slightly thaw the raspberries. Place all the ingredients in a blender or food processor and puree until smooth.

Remove the peaches from the marinade and place them in a grill basket with handles. Grill them flesh side down over a medium-hot fire. Grill for 2 to 3 minutes until the grill marks show. Turn and grill until the peaches are soft.

To serve, spoon some of the raspberry puree on a dessert plate, place the peach cut side up on the sauce. Put a dollop of cheese in the center of the peach and top with additional puree, and garnish with the walnuts.

Hot Sauced Shad Roe with Green Chile & Cheese Eggs

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You can actually use any fish roe in this recipe, so ask your local fishmonger what is available. If you’re in Richmond in April, you’ll find this breakfast shad recipe in restaurants. Of course, you won’t find the green chile eggs, as we do that here in New Mexico. This recipe will not win any awards from the Food Police.


  • 4 shad roes

  • 1/4 cup bacon drippings, melted

  • 1 tablespoon butter

  • 6 eggs, beaten with a little milk

  • 1/4 cup chopped green chile

  • 1/4 cup grated pepper jack cheese

  • Hot sauce of choice


In a skillet, combine the shad roes and the bacon drippings and fry the roes for about 10 minutes, turning several times. When the roes are half-done, in another skillet melt the butter, add the eggs and scramble with a fork. When the eggs are nearly done, add the green chile and cheese. To serve, sprinkle the roes with your favorite hot sauce and place next to the eggs.