5 cheesy snacks for your Noche Buena pre-game

Jules Matabuena
5 cheesy snacks for your Noche Buena pre-game
Level up your Noche Buena fare with these creamy, cheesy treats!

MANILA, Philippines – Noche Buena is the perfect reason to indulge in good food. Filipinos love to eat, that much is certain. During Noche Buena, our tables are overflowing with sumptuous dishes using recipes both time-honored and tweaked for modern palates that we enjoy with our loved ones.  (READ: 5 signs you’re in a Pinoy Christmas get-together) But why wait until the stroke of midnight to start digging in? Fill your tummies throughout the day with little snacks – kind of like a pre-game for Noche Buena! Here are five simple snack recipes that you can follow to upgrade your Noche Buena tradition. Remember that simplicity is key since you’ll already be busy preparing your main dishes. These recipes call for ingredients that are also normally used in popular Noche Buena fare, mainly our all-time favorite cheese, and are easy to assemble and cook. You can even make these using leftovers in the days after!  Beef and cheese dynamite rolls  Set aside a portion of the ground beef and some grated cheese that you’ll be using for the spaghetti for a batch of beef and cheese dynamite rolls!  Have this recipe as your base but tweak it a bit so that after scraping the seeds out of the chili, you’ll put in a spoon of the cooked ground beef and top it with grated cheese. Follow the rest of the steps as indicated. Cheesy cheese sticks  This dish is so easy to prepare, you can probably make it while waiting for one of your main dishes to finish cooking! Cut cheese into thick slices and wrap them individually in lumpia wrapper. Fry until golden brown, then serve hot for that ooey-gooey, cheesy goodness. Mini ham and cheese pan de sal  Noche Buena won’t be complete without staple items like ham and cheese, which you can easily combine to make a filling snack. Simply cut slices of ham and cheese enough to fit between halved pan de sals. We recommend toasting the bread for extra crunch!  Fried chicken cheese balls  This recipe calls for more prep time but cooking it is a breeze. Mince chicken breast and combine it with spices and flour, then form into bite-sized balls. Fill them with cubes of cheese, dip in egg white, and coat with breadcrumbs. Then deep fry until golden brown.  Nachos with beef queso melt dip  When you go Noche Buena shopping, grab a big bag of nachos before heading to the counter! The highlight of this snack is actually the dip. Fried beef is combined with a mixture of melted butter, flour, milk, cheese, and salsa to make a creamy, cheesy dip. Check out this recipe for step-by-step instructions! As you indulge in these dishes and more this holiday season, remember that the trick is to have fun while cooking and upgrading your dishes with your loved ones! What’s your favorite snack? Share your recipe with us! – Rappler.com All illustrations by Alejandro Edoria

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