Tequeños are fried Venezuelan breaded cheese sticks.
They are very similar to mozzarella sticks but instead of mozzarella cheese they are filled with queso blanco or queso fresco (fresh Venezuelan cheese).
On occasion you'ill find them filled with diced ham, chopped vegetables, and even sweet dessert fillings.
Tequeños are found in Venezuelan bars, served as party appetizers and perfect as a midday snack.
- 2 Cups All Purpose Flour
- 1/2 tsp Salt
- 6 TBSP Cold Butter, Cut into 1/4" Cubes
- 1 Egg, Lightly Beaten
- 6 TBSP Water
- 12 oz Queso Blanco, Cut into 1/2" by 3" Pieces
- Vegetable Oil for Frying
Place the flour and salt in a medium bowl and whisk together.
Add the butter and mix using an electric mixer until the butter is in very small pieces.
Add in egg and water, combine using a fork. If dough is not fully forming, add additional water 1 TBSP at a time until dough starts to form. Keep mixing and kneading with your hands until dough is no longer sticky. When ready, shape into a ball, wrap with plastic wrap and let it rest 20 minutes in the refrigerator.
Unwrap dough and place on a lightly floured surface. Roll out into a rectangle 1/8-inch thick. Cut off edges to create a 12" by 14" rectangle. Cut into strips 1" wide. You will end up with 12 strips of dough.
Take one strip of dough and drape over top of one piece of cheese. Continue to wrap dough around the stick on a diagonal, overlapping the edges, until you reach the other end. Cover the other end of the cheese stick and seal. Make sure to press any open edges together to seal cheese in the dough completely, you can dampen the dough with a drop of water to help seal it Repeat this with the rest of the cheese pieces.
Fill a cast iron skillet with 3/4" of vegetable oil. Heat oil to 400°F over high heat. Lower heat to medium and fry tequeños in batches. Fry until crust is golden brown, about 4 minutes, turning halfway through. Transfer tequeños to a paper towel lined plate, let cool for 1 to 2 minutes, then serve immediately.