Cheese Cooking Tips
Courtest of Heluva Good!
- Chill cheese for easy grating and shredding. It’ll make the job much easier. Chill hard cheeses in the freezer for 30 minutes and soft cheeses for 15 to 20 minutes, or until firm to the touch. If you want to crumble hard cheese, freeze it longer. (Cheese will keep in the freezer, tightly wrapped, for 2-3 months.)
- Measure cheese for cooking by weight for best result in recipes. General rule is 4 ounces of cheese equals one cup shredded or grated. When your recipe calls for two cups of grated cheese, our 8-ounce stick cheeses will be just the right amount.
- Similar types of cheese can be used interchangeably in recipes to give you the flavor you enjoy the most. For instance, when a recipe calls for cheddar, use mild or sharp cheddar for a mild flavor. For a bolder cheddar flavor, use extra sharp, which is aged longer giving it a drier, stronger taste. And don’t overlook Washed Curd. It melts creamy smooth and tastes similar to sharp cheddar.
- To cook or reheat dishes with cheese in the microwave, use the lower power settings and stir and rotate frequently. Cheese is best when heated slowly at low temperatures. To soften cheese in the microwave, remove wrapper, place on microwave safe plate, and heat on low to medium power. An 8-ounce piece of hard cheese will take about 30 seconds to come to room temperature.
- To save cooking time and use less heat, grate or shred cheese before adding it to your recipe.
- To prevent cheeses such as Swiss and Mozzarella from becoming stringy during cooking, add a little wine or lemon juice before melting them.
- To avoid lumpy cheese sauce, add a little flour or cornstarch at the start of the recipe (before adding the cheese). You will be able to heat the cheese for an extended period of time and the sauce will remain smooth and creamy.
- High heat and extended cooking time tend to make cheese stringy and tough. When melting and blending cheese into a recipe, use a low temperature for a short period of time – just enough to get the job done.