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six ideas for cheese

Written on Sunday, September 25, 2016 | 9:35:00 AM


These are very tasty cheese substitutes. Play around with flavourings and add things like chopped fresh herbs, cracked black peppercorns instead of white pepper, chilli flakes or garlic powder.


CHEDDAR :
Soak 40 g (1½ oz/¼ cup) raw cashew nuts in water for at least 4 hours. Drain and rinse. Blitz in a food processor with 3 tbsp nutritional yeast, ½ tsp celery salt,½ tsp sea salt flakes and a pinch each of white pepper and mustard powder. In a pan, whisk 200 ml (7 fl oz) unsweetened soya milk with 4 tsp agar-agar powder and 1 tbsp olive oil. Cook for 5 minutes until thick, then add to the nut mixture with 4 tbsp lemon juice. Blitz. Pour into an oiled ramekin, smooth the top and cover. Chill until set, then invert onto a plate. 
Makes about 185 g (6 ½ oz)


RICOTTA :
In a food processor, put 250 g (9 oz) firm tofu (drained and dried with paper towels), 2 tsp lemon juice, 2 tsp olive oil, ½ minced garlic clove, ½ tsp sea salt flakes and freshly ground black pepper. Pulse until combined. Don’t over-process or the tofu will turn to a paste – you want to retain a bit of texture. 
Makes about 250 g (9 oz)


PARMESAN :
Lightly toast 70 g (2½ oz) sesame seeds in a dry frying pan until fragrant and pale gold. Be careful not to burn. Transfer to a blender or food processor and add 3 tbsp nutritional yeast, a pinch of fine sea salt and a pinch of white pepper. Pulse until well combined. Store in an airtight container.
Makes about 120 g (4¼ oz)


GOAT’S CHEESE :
Soak 160 g raw cashew nuts in water for at least 4 hours. Drain and rinse well. Put in a blender with 2 tbsp water, 4 g probiotic powder, a pinch of fine sea salt and 2 tbsp water. Blitz to a smooth paste. Scrape into a bowl, cover with plastic wrap and set aside somewhere warm for 12 hours. Stir in 2 tbsp white wine vinegar and 2 tsp nutritional yeast. Set aside in the fridge for 24–48 hours until firm. 
Makes about 200 g (7 oz)


CREAM CHEESE :
Soak 40 g (1½ oz/¼ cup) raw cashew nuts for at least 4 hours. Drain, rinse well and blitz together with 300 g (10½ oz) silken tofu, 2 tsp agave nectar, 2 tsp lemon juice, 1 tsp xanthan gum and ½ tsp fine sea salt and a pinch of white pepper. Chill. 
Makes about 350 g (12 oz)



CHEESE SAUCE :
In a small pan, combine 200 ml (7 fl oz) vegetable stock and 1½ tsp white miso paste. Whisk over a medium heat until combined. Reduce the heat, add 1 tsp each of garlic and onion granules, 125 ml (4 fl oz/½ cup) cashew cream and season with salt and pepper. Stir continuously for about 5 minutes until the mixture has thickened into a creamy sauce. Remove from the heat and stir in 60 g (2¼ oz) grated non-dairy cheese until melted. 
Makes about 200 ml (7 fl oz)

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