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Tequeños with Guasacaca Sauce (Venezualan Cheese Sticks)

Tequeños with Guasacaca Sauce (Venezuelan Cheese Sticks)

Crispy cheese sticks with a cilantro dipping sauce
  • Tequeños with Guasacaca Sauce (Venezualan Cheese Sticks) 1
  • Tequeños with Guasacaca Sauce (Venezualan Cheese Sticks) 2
  • Tequeños with Guasacaca Sauce (Venezualan Cheese Sticks) 3
  • Tequeños with Guasacaca Sauce (Venezualan Cheese Sticks) 4
Our take on classic tequenos features a bright blend of flavors. These Venezuelan cheese sticks are a traditional snack made with hard white Venezuelan cheese and fried dough. For our version, we’re using springy, milky Halloumi to achieve the perfect chewy texture and slight citrusy flavor, then pairing the fried sticks with Guasacaca, a Venezuelan green sauce made with cilantro, jalapeno, and avocados. This creamy, fresh sauce is the perfect condiment for a bite of crispy cheese, so serve this easy appetizer up at your next party or gathering.

Tequeños with Guasacaca Sauce (Venezuelan Cheese Sticks)
Crispy cheese sticks with a cilantro dipping sauce
  • Prep Time : 40 min
  • Cook Time : 10 min
  • Total Time : 50 min
  • Serves 4

Ingredients

  • For the Guasacaca:
  • 2 large ripe Avocados
  • 1 small White onion
  • 1 small Jalapeno, deseeded
  • 3 medium Garlic cloves
  • 1 cup fresh Cilantro leaves and delicate stems
  • 2 Tbsp. White vinegar
  • 3 Tbsp. Fresh lime juice
  • Coarse salt and black pepper to taste
  • 2 ripe Haas avocados, seeded and roughly diced
  • 1 small Onion, quartered
  • 1 small Green bell pepper, stemmed, seeded, and roughly chopped
  • 1 medium Jalapeño, stemmed, seeded, and roughly chopped (optional)
  • 2 medium cloves Garlic
  • 1/2 cup fresh Cilantro leaves, roughly chopped
  • 1/4 cup fresh Parsley leaves, roughly chopped
  • 1/4 cup White vinegar
  • 1 Tbsp. Lime juice from 1 lime
  • 1/3 cup Olive oil
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • For the Taqueños:
  • 2 cups All Purpose Flour
  • 2 tsp. Kosher salt
  • 6 Tbsp. Unsalted butter, cold
  • 1 large Egg
  • 6 Tbsp. Cold water, plus more as needed
  • 2 ea. Halloumi
  • 2 cups High heat oil (i.e. canola, peanut, vegetable, etc.)

Directions

  1. Prepare the guasacaca, or Venezualan cilantro sauce, by first dicing the jalapeno, garlic and onion and placing them in a large bowl. Roughly chop the cilantro and add to the bowl, along with the avocados, lime juice and vinegar. Mash the ingredients together until you reach a slightly chunky paste-like consistency somewhere between a loose salsa and a thick guacamole. Season with salt and pepper and set aside.
  2. To prepare the tequenos, first make the dough by placing the flour, salt and cold cubed butter into a large mixing bowl or food processor and pulsing to combine until the butter is broken down into smaller than a pea in size. Add the egg and water and use a wooden spoon or spatula to combine all ingredients until they form a homogenous ball. Wrap the dough tightly in plastic wrap and allow to rest in the fridge for 30 minutes.
  3. While the dough is resting, cut the halloumi into planks at roughly ½” x ½” in thickness. Set aside.
  4. Unwrap the dough and using a rolling pin, roll to an ⅛ - ¼” thick on a lightly floured surface. Cut the dough into strips at roughly ¾” in width.
  5. Take one strip of dough and one piece of halloumi and wrap the cheese in the dough, overlapping to ensure every surface of the cheese is encased. Set aside and repeat with remaining halloumi and dough strips.
  6. Heat the oil in a large skillet over medium high heat. Lay the dough-wrapped cheese sticks into the oil and fry on each side for roughly 2 minutes until the entire stick is golden brown. Remove to a paper towel lined-tray and repeat with remaining cheese sticks.
  7. Serve warm with the cilantro sauce for dipping.

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