Contributing Writer: Nadia aka Cheese Girl
Cheese can make a mediocre meal memorable, revive a lifeless salad or flavor a bland soup. Does your apple pie need a little zing? Try grating some sharp cheddar into the crust dough. Your guests will never know what hit them. Cooking with the curds is ease, just follow a few rules of thumb I eat by:
Best melting cheeses
Not all cheeses melt equally. Cheeses born to melt are typically made from cow’s milk. Alpine-style (think Gruyere) or cheddar cheeses are perfect for a grilled cheese sandwich or melted over potatoes. While sheep’s milk cheeses (like Manchego and Pecorino) tend to separate out when heated, with the fat permanently separating from the solids, goat’s milk cheeses don’t get gooey at all, so shy away from those when it comes to melting.
Cooking with real artisan cheese can burn a hole in your wallet, so look for the appropriately priced option. If you want to crumble goat’s cheese on your salad, look for a bulk chèvre, rather than the perfectly mold-encrusted and pricey artisan cheese. Great cheeses can be expensive and should saved for the cheese board.
Cheese staples for your fridge
1. Parmigiano Reggiano should be a fixture in your fridge. Not only can you grate it over pretty much anything, but it also can be stored for about a month before it begins to head south.
2. A melting or sandwich cheese is great to have on hand for an emergency grilled cheese or the munchies (I’m partial to Comte).
3. Lastly, a fresh sheep or goat’s milk cheese, like a briny feta or marinated labneh (kefir) balls, is versatile enough for omelettes, salads, sandwiches, the possibilities are endless.
Next week I’ll tip you off on ideas for cooking with cheese. Until then, you can visit me at Cheesaholic for the latest news, recipes and summer cheese events.