Recently I attended the ballet performance of Romeo and Juliet. Yes, the classic, timeless, tragic story of forbidden love. I love the ballet; it’s both magical and beautiful to watch the drama, emotion and passion expressed through dance by these amazing performers. I was pleasantly surprised to receive the ticket from my friend Martha following her birthday luncheon.
So what happens when a food lover like me watches Romeo and Juliet? First, I’m brought to tears and then I think about… food. I own and read so many cookbooks that every now and then, or more often than not, something I had read will trigger my memory. “Romeo and Juliet”…. “Guava and Cheese”! I read that the combination of cheese and guava is also known as Romeo and Juliet; a perfect match!
I was introduced to this combination last summer. Goudacheese topped with sweet guava paste or guava jelly/marmalade. Guava tastes like a mix of strawberry and mango. Its sweetness is similar to any jam or jelly; the fruit is cooked down with sugar and formed into a jelled paste or marmalade.
The type of cheese varies by individual preference and heritage. I’ve mostly had it withGouda; however, cream cheese and a Brazilian cheese called Minas are also popular. Guava topped on cream cheese for a dessert plate reminds me of a deconstructed cheesecake. For breakfast, guava marmalade lightly spread on toast with cream cheese or for appetizers, served with crackers.
I took it one step further and made it into quesadillas. Totally yummy!! Gouda melting with the guava paste; the cheese mellows out the sweetness of the guava. Serve with a nice green salad to compliment the flavors and balance out the sweetness. Or serve as a dessert quesadilla with a drizzle of pureed guava sauce and a sprinkling of confectioner’s sugar!!
Guava and Gouda Quesadillas
Guava paste, sliced thin
Gouda Cheese, shredded
Heat a large cast iron pan or griddle with a light coating of olive oil. On a cutting board or cookie sheet, lay the tortillas flat and sprinkle cheese on 1 half of each tortilla. Place thin slices of guava paste on top of cheese. Amount of cheese to guava varies on your personal preference. I like a balanced amount of both cheese to guava, about ¼ cup of each; just not too thick. Fold the tortillas in half and place on heated pan. Cook until lightly brown, about 2 minutes. Use a spatula to flip the quesadilla and continue to cook until browned and cheese/guava is melty and gooey. Allow to rest a few minutes before cutting and serving to firm up the cheese.
I love being in the kitchen. Early mornings, soft music, a hot espresso. Easing into the preparation of delicious meals. Glancing through cookbooks, gathering inspiration and planning my day. I look forward to the cycles of the seasons, the pleasures of tasting and savoring and sharing this with those dear to me. Weekends are special to me as my week days are often rushed, but still I create the ambiance, light the candles, set the table and uncork the wine.