A Starter with Sardines and Kesong Puti

As I attempt to prepare our 'first' menu for the week, I saw myself browsing through an old Food Magazine, hoping to get some new, quick-and-easy dishes I can try to whip up. With the many traditional Filipino dishes, I chanced upon a special feature on French chef Cyrille Soenen (pardon my ignorance on his professional background) presenting a few of his simple dishes he's serving for lunch. Out of the three dishes, I was particularly excited to try this appetizer -- Baguette with Pan-fried Kesong Puti & Sardines.

Mini Baguette from French Baker

It called for toasted sliced baguette, pan-fried sliced kesong puti (native white cheese made from fermented carabao's milk), fresh sardines marinated in herbs and olive oil, a couple of garlic cloves, and fleur de sel -- 'flower of salt', the famous and expensive sea salt that's hand-harvested in France.

I can just imagine the flavors of the garlic rub on toasted baguette, with the rich and salty flavors of kesong puti and sardines. Mmm...

Well, what I got for my version is a mini baguette (since we can't finish a full roll), this wonderful bottle of a mildly hot Zaragoza Spanish-style sardines in corn oil, and a bundle of kesong puti -- a very disappointing purchase from Unimart (grocery) since the 'bundle' of leaf-wrapped cheese were just that, leaves! After removing the thick wrapping, it left me with only two slices. I felt robbed!

To divide the cheese on more toast, I sliced it across and made it thinner. Now I have four slices instead of just two. Wrong move!

After pan-frying those small squares of cheese, I ended up with a thin, gooey blob that looked liked a fried egg white...sigh...
But I was still optimistic.

To rectify the 'situation' with the white cheese, I cut up a few slices of tomatoes and finely chopped fresh parsley drizzled with olive oil and pinch of rock salt, just to add to the topping. It worked wonderfully well -- at least for me :)
The flavors just complemented each other and I gobbled up four toasts before dinner.

Friday is almost over and I finally made my cut-off after quite a hectic week. I hope this scrumptious starter will be able to satisfy your taste buds for your weekend meal.

The gooey-looking, burnt kesong puti turned out to really kick the taste up a notch! Even with just two slices, it certainly redeemed itself in the end ;)


  1. Wow, I should try this some time! Sardines are my fave especially when soaked in spicy olive oil! Yum!!! I'm so hungry! Thanks for the idea!

  2. love toasted cheese:)

  3. Hi Michelle! I bought the same kesong puti from Unimart 2 weeks ago. I just remembered after reading your post that it's still somewhere in the fridge - hopefully still edible.:) I would love to make this for breakfast tomorrow! Thanks for the wonderful idea!

  4. jen, tina - i'm sure you'll enjoy this, great for breakfast, snacks and hors d'oeuvres -- sarap talaga, better with tomatoes and don't forget to rub garlic first ;)
    gourmand - same here, toasted cheese is yummy! though aside from kesong puti, in the past, I've only tried gruyere...any other cheeses you've tried?


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