Disclaimer: This is a sponsored post in collaboration with DiMe Media and TROPICAL cheese.
My love for Tropical cheese and tostones goes way back. I mean what’s not to love about Tropical Cheese Queso de Freir. Everyone loves cheese. And Queso de Freir fries to a crispy golden brown without breading or melting. What’s not to love about that? Not only is it one of my favorite go-to snacks, it’s one of Norrin’s too.
As for tostones, I could eat them every day – if they’re made right. I’m sort of a plantain snob. And nothing makes me sadder than going out for dinner, ordering tostones and they’re not up to my standards.
But as much as I love them, I’ve never made them. Something about frying food intimidates me. So when I want them, I either order them or buy them frozen (I know, I know – don’t judge me).
The other day, I was craving a grilled cheese sandwich. I hadn’t gone to the market and I was out of bread and out of cheese. Sometimes when I’m hungry, I start thinking about food and recipes and what I could make if only had this, that or the other thing.
During this food fantasy, I thought about the frozen tostones I had in the fridge. What if I used that as the bread and made the sandwich with tostones and queso de freir? Later that day, I went to the market and bought all the ingredients I needed to make my fantasy a reality.
It’s been a weekend favorite ever since. Especially during these chilly winter weekends when I want something comforting and filling. It’s warm, crispy, salty, gooey and just perfect alone by itself or with a bowl of soup.
I was telling a friend about my fear of frying plantains and she convinced me that I could do it.
So for the first time ever, I made my own. I was surprised by how naturally the process came to me. And it truly made all the difference in my Caribbean inspired grilled cheese.
My personal favorite way to enjoy Tostones with Tropical Cheese Queso de Freir is with a mayo-ketchup dipping sauce or a garlic-cilantro sauce.
Caribbean Inspired Grilled Cheese | Tostones with Tropical Cheese Queso de Freir (with 2 dipping sauces)
- Tropical Cheese Queso de Freir – sliced into squares
- 2 green plantains
- 2 – 3 cups canola oil (or any frying oil you prefer)
- pinch of salt
- cooking spray (or butter)
Queso de Freir Directions:
- Heat oil in skillet
- Fry in hot oil until golden brown
- Remove from oil and set aside
- Peel and slice plantain
- Keep slices in bowl of cold water to keep them browning
- Fry plantain in hot oil until golden – about 5 to 7 minutes
- Remove and drain on plate/colander lined with paper towels – allow them to cool slightly
- Smash each plantain with a tostonero – or you can be like me and the bottom of a clean can of beans and parchment paper.
- Fry flattened plantain a second time until golden and crisp.
- Remove from oil
- In a clean skillet, coat skillet with cooking spray or butter
- Add tostones and “grill” each side
- Add a slice of Tropical Cheese Queso de Freir to a toston
- Top with another grilled toston
- Remove from skillet
- Sprinkle salt on top of sandwich and enjoy alone or with your choice of dipping sauce
Mayo-Ketchup Dipping Sauce
- 2 tablespoons mayo
- 2 tablespoons ketchup
- garlic powder/paste to taste
Combine mayo, ketchup and garlic in a bowl. Keep refrigerated.
Garlic Cilantro Dipping Sauce
- fresh garlic – 4 – 6 cloves (note: I really love garlic so I’m always extra with it.)
- few sprigs of cilantro – finely chopped
- 1 – 2 teaspoons of vinegar
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- ½ fresh squeezed lime
- 1/8 teaspoon oregano (optional)
- salt/pepper to taste
Add garlic, salt, pepper, oregano to food processor or pilon. Combine olive oil, lime and vinegar in a small bowl. Add garlic mixture and stir. Keep refrigerated
Tropical Cheese Queso de Freir has the reputation of being the highest quality and most consistent frying cheese in the country. It fries to a crispy golden brown without breading or melting. Traditionally, it is consumed in the Dominican Republic as part of their breakfast accompanied by eggs, mangu (mashed plantains), and fried salami. It is also widely consumed in Nicaragua as an accompaniment to any meal. A version of this cheese, known as Halloumi, is consumed in Greece and other versions are enjoyed throughout the world. The possibilities for using this cheese are many. It can be deep fried, grilled, or pan seared. It can serve as a substitute for sandwich bread or mozzarella sticks, added to a salad in place of croutons, or added to pasta. Our Queso de Freir can be grilled with fruit, vegetables, and chorizo on skewers or fried and paired with different dipping sauces.
For some recipe inspiration, visit the Tropical Cheese recipe page.