I am a cheese lover. If I could, I would live on cheese enchiladas, grilled cheese and even cheese lasagna.
I wanted to share some tips on cheese. These tips were found at http://www.cheesesociety.org/displaycommon.cfm?an=1&subarticlenbr=5
1. Always rewrap cheese in fresh wrapping, preferably in waxed or parchment paper, after the cheese has been opened to avoid having the cheese dry out or pick up other flavors. Remember that natural cheese is a living organism, with enzymes and bacteria that need air and moisture to survive. Thus, rewrapping the cheese in paper and then in plastic wrap to create a microenvironment for the cheese is the preferred storage treatment. However, you should not leave cheese in the same wrappings for extended periods of time.
2. The recommended temperature range for storing cheese is between 35 and 45 degrees Fahrenheit, at a high humidity level, preferably in the bottom vegetable/fruit bin. To avoid accidentally freezing the cheese, don’t store it near the freezer compartment or in the meat bin.
3. Double wrap strong, pungent cheeses, such as blue, aged brick, or washed rind varieties, to avoid having their aromas permeate other foods. It is best to place these cheeses in an airtight container for extra assurance against aroma leakage. And it’s best to store cheeses separately if possible, especially blues, washed rinds and milder cheeses, as they will pick up each other’s flavors.
4. If cheeses other than fresh cheeses and blues have surpassed their expiration dates (imprinted on the packaging) or if the cheese develops a blue-green mold on the exterior, make a cut about a ½ inch below the mold to ensure that it has been entirely removed; the remaining cheese will be fine.
5. In general, never freeze natural cheeses, as they may lose their texture, and in some cases their flavor profiles will be seriously altered. If you must freeze cheese, allow the cheese to thaw slowly in the refrigerator and use it for cooking, as the texture will become crumbly and dry after it is defrosted.
6. If stored and wrapped cheeses are overly dry, develop a slimy texture, exhibit ammoniated or any off odors, it’s best to discard them. If you find these characteristics in cheeses at your local shop, do not purchase them, as they are past their prime. If a retailer’s offerings consistently display the above characteristics, it’s best to find another resource for your cheese.
And now, some cheese recipes:
1 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
1/4 cup white sugar
2 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
3/4 teaspoon salt
1 cup shredded Cheddar cheese
1 egg, beaten
3/4 cup milk
1/3 cup vegetable oil
Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Lightly grease a loaf pan. In a large bowl, mix together flour, sugar, baking powder, salt and cheese. In another large bowl, beat together egg, milk and oil. Stir the flour/cheese mixture into the egg mixture, stirring until just moistened. Pour batter into prepared pan.
Bake in preheated oven for 35 minutes, until a toothpick inserted into center of loaf comes out clean.
Cheese and Vegetable Pie
1 tablespoon butter
1 cup frozen onion seasoning blend or sliced onion
1 tablespoon butter
salt and pepper to taste
2 tablespoons flour
1 1/2 cups shredded Swiss cheese
1 9-inch pastry crust (pre-baked)
2 eggs (beaten)
1 cup half and half
1 cup sliced zucchini
Sauté onion and zucchini in butter in skillet until tender, about five minutes; season with salt and pepper and stir in flour. Cool; toss with cheese and arrange in bottom of crust. Beat eggs. Add half and half to eggs and mix. Pour into pie shell.
Bake at 350 degrees until pie is browned and set, 40 to 45 minutes.
Cheese Enchilada Casserole
2 dozen (6 inch) tortillas
1 can cream of mushroom soup
1 small can diced chilis
1/2 pound grated Monterey Jack
1 pint sour cream
1 can cream of chicken soup
1/2 pound grated cheddar cheese
1 medium bunch green onions, chopped
Fry tortillas in oil until soft and pliable; drain and pat dry. Spray 9 x 13 inch pan with Pam or grease lightly. Mix soups, sour cream and chilies. Take a tortilla and put a dollop (a heaping tablespoon) of mix, a bit of cheese and a pinch of green onion and roll; place in pan. Fill the pan with tortillas, placing them close together. Take remaining mix and spread over all the tortillas. Garnish with remaining cheese and onions. Bake at 350 degrees for 25 to 30 minutes.