Food and Leisure

How cheesy: Cheese-based recipes for Valentine's Day 2021

Kathleen A. Llemit - Philstar.com
How cheesy: Cheese-based recipes for Valentine's Day 2021
Pasta dishes made using El Real Real Sarap Sweet Style Bundle
Photo release

MANILA, Philippines — Don't we have a saying, "Ang cheesy mo!"? We often cringe or be defensive when referred as such.

But this Valentine's Day, you have the license to be extra cheesy.

Cheese lovers can have that excuse to indulge as V-Day, generally, would mean being cheesy is forgiven. It's that one day we can turn on our inner romantics without judgement. After all, it's just one day.

So, enjoy that cheesy goodness that most of us are guilty of.

Don't we have our own beloved Kesong Puti, that creamy goodness we find joy eating as it is or over pandesal? Cheese is also a must ingredient in our favorite birthday dish — the Filipino-style spaghetti. The more grated cheese on top of the sweet sauce and hotdogs, the more that it will be likely wiped out in no record time.

Even our desserts such as the puto and the puto bumbong are topped with it. In recent times, our street food portfolio has added Dynamite, a deep-fried, cheese-filled green chili wrapped with lumpia wrapper to the street food staples of another cheese favorite, cheesesticks with mayo/ketchup dipping, barbecue, isaw and kwek-kwek.

And of course, the currently popular charcuterie/cheeseboard challenge we've been salivating over Instagram and Facebook. Aren't they inspirational that they would want you to experience all the great combinations of cheese from all over the world that you and your friends can munch on with dates, dried fruits and cured meats?

So, whatever your cheese fix is, today is your day to be as "cheesy" as you'd want to be.

For more cheesy goodness, refer to these recipes you might want to prepare this V-Day.

Cheesy Spaghetti 

El Real Real Sarap Sweet Style Bundle (El Real Spaghetti 900g + Sweet Style Spaghetti sauce 800g)
370mL Angel Kremqueso 
½ cup saved pasta water 
3 tbsp olive oil 
1 small onion, chopped 
5 garlic cloves, minced 
500g ground beef 
200g ground pork 
1 cup ham, cubed 
Salt & pepper to taste 
Grated cheese as topping

1. Cook El Real Party Pasta according to package instructions. Save ½ cup pasta water. Drain and set aside. 
2. Heat olive oil then ang onion and garlic until fragrant. Add the ground meat until it turns brown.  
3. Add ham and mix until brown. Add Sweet Style Spaghetti Sauce and water. Let boil.
4. Add Angel Kremqueso. Mix and add salt and pepper to taste. Let it simmer for a while. 
5. Put cooked pasta in a plate and top with sauce. Sprinkle with grated cheese.

Special Tuna Pasta 

400g El Real Spaghetti
2 large cans tuna flakes in oil
¼ cup olive oil
1 onion, chopped
4 cloves garlic, crushed
¼ cup capers
½ cup tomatoes, chopped
½ cup bell pepper, chopped
2 tsp lemon juice
Parsley, chopped
Salt and pepper to taste
Red pepper flakes (optional)
Parmesan cheese

1. Cook El Real Party Pasta according to package instructions. Drain and set aside.
2. Heat oil over low heat in a saute pan. Sautee onion and garlic. Cook until the onion gets tender.
3. Stir in capers, tomatoes, bell pepper, lemon juice and parsley. Add salt, pepper and red pepper flakes. Simmer for three minutes to thicken the sauce.
4. Add tuna. Mix well and cook for five minutes.
5. Add cooked spaghetti and parmesan cheese. Mix well.
6. Transfer in a serving plate and enjoy!

Chef Gerick Manalo's Beef Nacho Crackers Supreme

Swapping out the traditional Nacho chips with crackers also make for a more calorie-friendly version.
Photo release

Available in supermarkets nationwide, the Tiger Crackers Nacho set includes one Multi-Pack of Tiger Crackers Plain, one 45g pack of Eden Cheese and one 62-gram pack of one Cheez Whiz Original for P102. Once you have made the beef sauce, simply add the crackers and you are good to go.

The crackers are baked using a special kind of technology that gives them a crispy, melt-in-your-mouth texture. Swapping out the traditional Nacho chips with crackers also make for a more calorie-friendly version, considering that there are only 120 calories in each pack of Tiger Crackers.

Classic Vanilla Cake 


#TheMayaKitchen has lined up online baking and cooking classes this February! Learn from and cook along with our chefs...

Posted by The Maya Kitchen on Tuesday, February 2, 2021


½ cup unsalted butter, softened
1 cup white granulated sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 pieces whole eggs
½ cup evaporated milk
1 ¼ cups Maya All Purpose Flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
½ teaspoon fine salt

1. Preheat the oven to 325ºF (160ºC). Grease and line your cake pans.
2. Cream the butter, and sugar until light and fluffy. Add in eggs one at a time, beating well and scraping down the bowl in between each addition.
3. In a separate bowl, sift together flours, baking powder and salt.
4. Add half of the dry ingredients, mix, add the evaporated milk, mix then add in the other half of the dry ingredients. Scrape down to the bottom of the bowl to ensure batter is well incorporated.
5. Pour the batter into the prepared pans and tap it a few times to make the batter level and allow any air bubbles to escape.
6. Bake for 30-40 minutes until a tester inserted in the center of the cake comes out clean.
Yield: two 6” round cakes OR one 8” round cake

For the whipping cream cheese icing
1 cup cream cheese, softened
1/3 –½ cup powdered sugar, sifted
2 cups non-dairy whipping cream
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
Gel food coloring, as needed

1. Prepare cream cheese icing, beat cream cheese with powderedsugar and vanilla extractuntil soft and smooth. While the mixer is running pour in whipping cream. Continuewhipping until almost stiff peaks form. Color icing with desired hues.

  • Latest
Are you sure you want to log out?

Philstar.com is one of the most vibrant, opinionated, discerning communities of readers on cyberspace. With your meaningful insights, help shape the stories that can shape the country. Sign up now!

or sign in with