This popular grilled cheese snack can be found all over Brazil and is the ultimate street food. Traditionally made with queijo coalho and served with either molasses or chimichurri sauce, it is equally delicious made with any of the three readily available cheeses suggested below. The farofa is optional but adds texture and an authentic Brazilian touch to the dish. Ideal as a starter or finger-food for a party.
Makes 8 sticks
For the cheese sticks
- 400g of either queso fresco, paneer or halloumi cheese, cut into thick 2 x 8cm pieces
- 8 wooden skewers
- Olive oil for brushing
- 2 tablespoons runny honey
For the farofa
- 200g manioc flour; alternatively, semolina, cornmeal or dried panko breadcrumbs
- 2 tablespoons butter
- 1 small onion, finely chopped
- 1 teaspoon garlic powder
- 2 tablespoons fresh parsley, finely chopped
- Hot pepper sauce to serve
To make the farofa
Melt the butter in the skillet on a low to medium heat and gently fry the onion for 5 minutes adding the garlic powder halfway through.
Add the manioc (or alternative) flour and continue to cook for 2 minutes to lightly toast. Remove from the heat and stir in the parsley and season with salt and pepper. Set aside.
To prepare the cheese sticks
Carefully insert the skewers, lengthways, into the cheese pieces.
Pre-heat the grill on a low to medium heat; meanwhile brush the cheese with a little olive oil on all sides. Test the temperature of the pan before adding the cheese – see Cook’s notes - and when hot enough add the cheese and cook for 2 minutes each side until coloured and caramelised. Don’t be tempted to move the cheese before this time; allow the surface to seal on the ribs of the pan. When it is cooked it will release easily.
Brush or roll the cooked cheese sticks in the honey and then roll in the farofa to coat thoroughly.
Serve on a plate or wooden board accompanied with the hot pepper sauce.
- Manioc flour can be found in good supermarkets or delicatessens or can easily be ordered online. If preferred use either semolina, cornmeal or panko breadcrumbs instead if easier to find.