Queso Fresco is the Hot New Food Trend in 2017

Friday 06th, January 2017 / 11:58 Written by
Queso Fresco is the Hot New Food Trend in 2017

Queso Fresco is Predicted to be the Next Big Food Trend this Year

The next big thing in 2017? Queso Fresco. With each new year comes food trends that define dishes, from top restaurants to our own kitchens. Professional chefs and free-time foodies alike delight in new flavors to experiment with, or incorporate into their favorite recipes.

Like many food trends – from alternative pasta to chia seeds – it’s characterized by an artisanal upgrade to an irresistible ingredient or dish. In this case, it’s simple: cheese. Here are a few points surrounding this “it” cheese of 2017:

  • Similar to feta in its crumbling texture, Queso Fresco sets itself apart with smooth, bright, milky and mild flavor.
  • Its name translates to “fresh cheese,” and although it softens, Queso Fresco does not melt when heated.
  • Originating from Mexico, Queso Fresco has grown to be a mainstay in Hispanic cuisine. As Mexican dishes become a gourmet experience, Queso Fresco is being thrust into the spotlight as one of the top ingredients to bring authentic Hispanic experiences up a notch.
  • In addition to traditional Hispanic flavors, the versatility of Queso Fresco allows it to be used in a wide spectrum of everyday dishes.

And since eating healthy is on everyone’s mind right now here are some reasons why queso fresco is a healthy cheese option:

  • The process to make queso fresco is simple: milk is acidified and left to curdle, then is strained in cheesecloth and pressed. Unlike many cheeses, queso fresco is not an aged cheese – hence the name “fresh cheese.”
  • Queso fresco includes pasteurized cow’s milk, citric acid and salt. In one serving (30g) there are 90 calories, 7g of fat, 1g of carbs and 6g of protein. It is lower in fat and sodium than other aged cheeses.
  • Due to its freshness, queso fresco has a short shelf life, and it is recommended that you use queso fresco within 3-5 days of purchase.

Queso Fresco is an easy, delicious and healthy way to upgrade cooking experiences.

One brand that has solidified itself as a staple in Hispanic cooking for decades in the Texas market is Houston-born La Vaquita®. Its signature Queso Fresco, as well as its other quesos and cremas, are available throughout Texas in H-E-B, Walmart, Kroger and more.

Here are some healthy recipes using Queso Fresco from La Vaquita:

QUINOA & BLACK BEAN COBB SALAD
By Chef David Cordua

Queso Fresco

 

INGREDIENTS
1/2 cup Quinoa (see below)
1/2 cup black beans
1/2 cup avocado, chopped
1/2 cup romaine, chopped
1/4 cup bacon, chopped
1/4 cup Pico de Gallo (see below)
1/4 cup La Vaquita® Queso Fresco, crumbled

For Quinoa:

2 cups quinoa
2 tablespoons corn oil
1/4 cup onion, diced
1/4 cup carrot, diced
1/4 cup celery, diced
6 cups chicken stock
1 teaspoon salt

For Pico de Gallo:

5 roma tomatoes, diced
1/2 onion, diced
1 jalapeno, diced
2 tablespoons of lime juice
1/2 cup cilantro, chopped
1 teaspoon of salt

DIRECTIONS
Prepare Quinoa: In a sauce pan at medium high heat, toast quinoa in oil until and golden brown and giving off a wonderful nutty aroma, about 5 minutes. Add onion, celery, and carrot and sauté until they soften. Add chicken stock and salt. Boil at high heat until liquid is absorbed. Remove from heat, cover with aluminum foil and let sit for 20 minutes.

Prepare Pico de Gallo: Combine ingredients in a bowl.

To assemble salad, combine all ingredients up through the Pico de Gallo. Finish by tossing in crumbled cheese.

 

HUMMUS FRESCO
By Chef David Cordua

Queso Fresco

 

INGREDIENTS

1 1/2 cups hummus
1/2 cup Pico de Gallo
1/2 cup La Vaquita® Queso Fresco
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
black pepper

For Pico de Gallo:

5 roma tomatoes, diced
1/2 onion, diced
1 jalapeno, diced
2 tablespoons of lime juice
1/2 cup cilantro, chopped
1 teaspoon of salt

DIRECTIONS

Combine Pico de Gallo ingredients in a bowl.  Set aside.

On a large plate, spread hummus evenly about 1 inch.  Sprinkle pico de gallo around the edge of the plate. Drizzle with olive oil and heap crumbled cheese into the center of the plate.  Garnish with black pepper and serve with warm pita or tortilla chips

 

ZESTY ROASTED BRUSSELS SPROUTS
By Chef David Cordua

Queso Fresco

 

INGREDIENTS

1 1/2 pounds brussels sprouts
1/4 cup of corn oil
1 teaspoon salt
1/4 cup of honey
1/2 teaspoon cayenne
1/2 cup toasted sliced almonds
1 1/2 tablespoons of orange zest
1/4 cup of La Vaquita® Queso Fresco

DIRECTIONS

Preheat oven to 400 degrees.

Cut brussels sprouts in half. In a large baking sheet, toss brussels in olive oil and season with salt. Roast for 25-30 minutes until deeply browned.

Heat honey, cayenne and orange zest together in a small bowl in a microwave for 1 1/2 minutes and pour over brussels sprouts.

Before serving, sprinkle in cheese and toasted almonds.

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