Keshi Yena (Aruban Stuffed Cheese Shell)
Keshi Yena is a popular dish throughout the Dutch Caribbean and especially in Aruba. When the Dutch brought Edam cheese to the Caribbean, locals found a way to transform the shell of the hollowed out cheese into this delicious casserole. A sauteed mix of tender shredded chicken with sweet raisins, spicy peppers, salty olives and capers, and a tangy blend of sauces are all wrapped up in a mouthwatering cheese shell for a meal that hits every taste bud.
- 2 onions, sliced
- 1 clove garlic
- 1 green bell pepper, chopped
- 1 small Edam cheese (2 – 2 1/2 lbs.)
- 2 lbs. cooked chicken, shredded
- 3 tomatoes, peeled and chopped
- 1/4 cup sliced olives
- 1 tbsp. capers
- 1 tbsp. parsley
- 1/4 hot pepper, minced (or hot sauce to taste)
- 1/2 cup raisins and chopped prunes
- 1 tbsp. tomato paste
- 2 tsp. Worcestershire sauce
- 2 tbsp. ketchup
- 2 tbsp. mustard
- Salt and pepper, to taste
- 2 tbsp. butter
- 5 eggs
- Slice the top off the cheese, reserve. Gently scoop out the inside, leaving a 1/4″ – 1/2″ shell. Soak the empty shell in hot water and peel away the red wax.
- Preheat oven to 350° F.
- Heat butter in a large pan and sauté the remaining ingredients, except the eggs. Reduce the heat and simmer for about 20 minutes.
- Remove pan from heat. Whisk 4 eggs and stir into the pan.
- Spoon everything into the cheese shell and replace the reserved top. Beat remaining egg and brush over the top of the cheese to seal it.
- Grease a shallow baking dish and fill it with about 1 inch of water. Place the stuffed cheese in the dish and bake for 1 – 1 1/2 hours.
- Serve piping hot, cut into wedges.
Adapted from Arecetas