Pan Seared Queso Panela drizzled with a deliciously fragrant and rich cilantro mojo sauce that combines simple ingredients to make an easy appetizer!
Every so often, I make things at home that make me feel like I belong in a fancy restaurant.
Like this – Seared Panela with Cilantro Mojo sauce.
Years ago, we had a restaurant known as “My Big Fat Greek” – it was just a few miles from a local shopping mall here in my area. It was always busy – the food was delicious.
One of my favorite things to pick up off the appetizer menu was the flaming saganaki – talk about delicious! They would do this at the table, and there was no better show.
Since then, I have often thought about My Big Fat Greek.. but my location closed down shortly after my last visit there and I haven’t been to one since.
Fast forward. ☺️
Just a few days ago, I made a pound of Queso Panela with some raw milk we had at home. Within a few hours, that pound of cheese was gone. I whipped up a half pound the next day and allowed it to drain for a few hours.
I thought that this would make a wonderful appetizer/snack and perfect time to try something similar to flaming saganaki!
Pan Seared Queso Panela with Cilantro Mojo
This easy recipe for Pan Seared Queso Panela is quite simple to make – in fact, in just minutes, you can have it on a plate as an appetizer or snack.
Simply slice your cheese into finger-width portions and set aside. Add a tablespoon or two of olive oil to a skillet at low/medium heat. Once the skillet is at temp, work in batches and add the cheese to the skillet.
Cook until the cheese begins to brown and soften, about 30-35 seconds per side. Transfer to a platter after each batch.
To make the cilantro mojo sauce, heat a little oil in a skillet on medium. Carefully add your chopped cilantro, garlic, chile, and basil – stir 10 seconds. Then pour the mixture into a blender. Add vinegar and lime juice and blend briefly for 10-12 seconds (do not puree until smooth).
Pour into a medium bowl and season as needed with salt & pepper. You can make this cilantro mojo a day ahead, then cover and refrigerate.
Make sure you bring to room temp and give it a stir before using.