On one of your many Netflix marathons, you’ve probably been overcome with the desire for pizza, only to find that either (a) an hour-and-a-half delivery just won’t do, or (b) you don’t have enough cash to pay the delivery guy. An easy substitute to your exacting cravings that your pantry can easily accommodate is a baked cheese and longganisa laden pull-apart pandesal. In between each roll is a mixture of gooey mozzarella cheese and longganisa, while parmesan and Italian seasoning on top helps crisp up the bun, while a heavy dose of chopped leeks gives a fresh vegetal flavor to the whole dish.
Cheese works well with several ingredients, and a testament to its versatility is a list of its flavor pairings. (Spoiler alert: there’s a lot.) It’s unsurprising that it plays a role in many of our favorite dishes, and its combination of richness and saltiness never fails to entice. Combine it with local longganisa for a burst of umami; the garlic and spices of the sausage also flavors the cheese. A sprinkling of parmesan cheese and Italian seasoning just before baking makes sure that the tops of the rolls crisp up and adds depth to the whole dish. Though this dish has the potential to take on all the fixings you’re craving, if cheese and longganisa just aren’t what you’re looking for today, you can easily swap those out with different ingredients. Try adding gourmet tuyo and kesong puti with some spicy honey or whatever suits your tastes this recipe is as forgiving as it is flexible.
Preparing this recipe is shockingly simple though there is one tricky part: keeping the rolls from breaking apart from one another to keep the cheese and longganisa in between the bread. Soft, freshly baked rolls can easily break apart–to keep them from doing so, use a sharp knife that cuts cleanly, and cut less than halfway down the lines that mark the separate rolls. That way the cheese melts in between without the bread breaking off, so you can pull the rolls apart for that stringy cheesiness that makes this dish so fun to eat. But if you’re into crisp cheese edges, letting the filling come to contact with your pan will help the cheese form a crust where it meets the pan. Other than making incisions into the bread, assembling this recipe consists of just inserting the cheese slices and rendered longganisa into the incisions. After baking this pull apart pandesal, you can continue your Netflix binge in peace knowing you’ve got a new dish to depend on when you can’t decide on what to snack on.
Baked Cheese and Longganisa Pull Apart Pandesal
Yield: 1 pan (good for 4)
Time: 30 minutes
- canola oil
- 1 pack dinner rolls or pandesal
- 200g garlic longganisa, cut up and cooked
- 150g mozzarella, sliced
- 1 egg, beaten
- italian seasoning
- parmesan cheese
- leeks, sliced
- Preheat oven to 200˚C on the grill function. You can also use a very hot oven or a turbo.
- Oil a pan large enough to fit bread.
- Gently make incisions between bread rolls taking care not to cut through.
- Place bread in pan.
- Spoon ⅔ of longganisa in between rolls and place the sliced mozzarella on top.
- Place the left over longganisa on top.
- Brush beaten egg on bread.
- Sprinkle with parmesan and Italian seasoning.
- Bake until golden brown and cheese is melted. 5-10 minutes.
- Sprinkle with leeks while hot. Serve while hot.