I made this dish on Wednesday, August 26th for Andy, his sister Jennifer and me. It is the national dish of Aruba, and is translated as "stuffed cheese." It is not the first time that I made this dish; the first time I attempted this project, while I lived with Lisa and Jessica, I made it. I feel that this time was more successful than last. Last time I attempted to hollow out a giant block of cheese as the recipe is traditionally made. This in itself was difficult, and then the filling didn't fully fit, and I ended up with a goopy mess. This time I did the "cheats" method, layering the filling and the cheese. It was really greasy, but really good. Jennifer and I both had multiple helpings, and I believe Andy would have as well, were he not in a DayQuil induced coma during dinner.
This dish was a lot like lasagna without the noodles. This, I believe, is due to the cheesy, beefy nature. However, some of the ingredients, such as raisins and green olives, provide a little savory or sweet surprise in the bites. It is a very good dish, and not difficult to make at all. The two pounds of cheese required is a bit expensive, however.
Here is the recipe as I made it, mildly altered from the original:
Keshi Yena Ingredients: -2 T. olive oil -1 T. butter -4 c. yellow onion, diced -1 large clove garlic, minced -1 lb. ground beef -3 large tomatoes, peeled and diced -1 large green pepper, chopped -1 T. parsley, ripped -A few drops hot sauce -2 T. ketchup -1/4 c. pimento olives, drained and sliced -1 T. capers, drained -1/4 c. raisins -2 T. sweet pickle relish -3 large egg yolks -2 lb. Gouda or Edam cheese, wax removed, sliced
Directions: 1) Sauté the onions and garlic in the oil and butter over medium heat until the onions are translucent. Do not allow the the garlic to burn. 2) Add the meat and brown. 3) Add the pepper, tomato, parsley and hot sauce. Mix well. Add the ketchup, olives, capers, raisins and relish. Stir well. Simmer until the tomatoes have reduced (about 20 minutes). 4) Stir in the egg yolks. Allow mixture to cool. 5) Preheat oven to 350 degrees. 6) Grease a 13x9" pan. Put half of the meat mixture in the pan. Cover with half of the cheese. Add the other half of the meat mixture on top of the cheese and top with remaining cheese. 7) Bake uncovered for 40 minutes. 8) Preheat the broil. Broil casserole for 3-5 minutes, until the cheese is brown and bubbly.