A lot of people love eating foods with cheese. What’s not to love about it? Imagine that gooey texture with a salty taste, perfect for elevating any meal and dish. There are many cheese dishes and recipes available for anyone to try today. And with simple to complex processes, you can satisfy your cheese cravings in no time.
However, even when cheese is considered versatile and flexible, it also requires a degree of cooking precision. If cheese is undercooked, overbaked, or dried up, it can easily ruin your dish. Find the best cheese gifts online and get ready to make the dishes your family will love.
To get started, here are some pro tips for cooking with cheese:
1. Melt The Right Cheese
It’s natural for certain cheeses to melt. But do note that not all of the ones available in your local grocery are made for this purpose. If you need to use melted cheese on your dish, you can opt for mozzarella, fontina, gouda, provolone, gruyere, or raclette.
If you want to achieve that consistently stretchy cheese you can pull, these are the types you should incorporate into your dish. They are available in cheese hampers that you can find online or in grocery stores. They work perfectly on grilled sandwiches, fondue dips, casseroles, and other cheese-melted meals. It’s important to note that melting cheeses have the right balance of moisture, age, and acidity, so your choice will come down to preference.
2. Consider Using The Cheese Rind
Cheese rinds are the hardened part of the cheese exposed to air and other elements. Some cooks often disregard them, not knowing that they can still serve some purpose and enrich the flavors of many dishes.
You can put cheese rinds in your dishes, but it depends on how strong of a flavor you want to add. If you want to enhance the texture of your dish, adding the rind gives you a rougher and more solid texture. Some rinds come with stronger flavors, so make sure to do a taste test first before putting them into your dish.
3. Shred Cold Cheese
It’s best to shred your cheese when it’s cold. Otherwise, it will turn to mush. This is a secret technique when dealing with shredded cheese.
The same thing applies to hard cheeses. You can use shredding tools and equipment to maximize the efficiency at which you shred them. These can include food processors, cheese graters, or a simple knife. But when dealing with soft-textured cheese, you can simply use your hands to break them down into pieces.
The best time to shred cheese is when it has just been removed from the fridge. This allows you to attain the perfect shape of shredded cheese because cold cheese doesn’t stick and keeps its shape independently. Another perk this gives is that the cheese won’t stick to your shredding tool, too, making the task seamless.
4. Consider Using Sodium Citrate With Cheese
If you have sodium citrate in the kitchen, consider adding it to your cheese. This is a different kind of salt that adds more flavor to your dish. One of its most unique characteristics is its ability to emulsify things, which is often necessary when you’re stirring a cheese sauce.
If you’re making a cheese sauce with salt and water, putting sodium citrate can really bring out the flavor. It can also be added to cheese sauces to prevent them from breaking down.
5. Control Baking Heat
Overheating cheese can cause your cheese dish to fail. This makes the oil separate and pool on the top, resulting in a messed-up texture. Instead of having the cheese integrated into the dish, it becomes a greasy layer on top. Be sure not to cook casseroles or other cheesy dishes above 375°F to avoid this.
Melted cheese is one of the most enticing foods. But you have to be careful when dealing with its heating temperature. It’s essential to set the timer as well as the temperature carefully in the oven. Always check the cheese’s consistency and texture to ensure it’s not overheating. Reduce the heat right away if you feel that it’s burning too fast.
6. Say No To Dry Cheese
Heat makes cheese moist. But without other liquid elements to add moisture, you can end up with a dry dish. And you don’t want to eat a cheese meal that is too dry on the mouth.
To prevent cheese from drying out while cooking, you can some liquid components such as cream, water, butter, and milk. Because of their moisture, they will make the cheese creamier and even enhance the flavor.
7. Store Your Cheese Properly
While you should know how to deal with cheese when you’re cooking dishes, you should also know how to store it properly. If you want your cheese to retain its perfect flavor and texture, you should place it in cheese storage paper or bags. These maintain the airflow and humidity needed to keep the ingredient fresh.
It’s important to get this right. Storing cheese in a place without adequate aeration or moisture will lead to molds, melted or frozen cheese, or expired flavors. Simply put, cheese is meant to be enjoyed in the same way the cheesemaker intended, so it should maintain its consistency even when you don’t use it.
8. Control The Portions Of Cheese You Use
Some cheeses come with strong and distinct flavors. If you’re unfamiliar with the type of cheese that you’re using, it’s best to limit how much you use. Include a little portion of cheese as you cook and give it a taste. This lets you know if you’re getting the flavor that you want.
Also, when it comes to purchasing stocks of cheese, buy in small quantities. This should let you try out new types without spending a lot. Plus, you won’t have to waste most of them if they end up not suiting your tastes.
You can satisfy your latest cravings by cooking different dishes with cheese. There are many cheese dishes to choose from, including a full cheese casserole to a quick grilled cheese sandwich. These tips should help you make the most out of this delicious ingredient.