Monday, December 3, 2012

Moove over cow cheese, there's something new! Recipe 63 Cheese Plate

Feelin' cheezy! 
Well, I may  not be Chester Cheetah, but I was feeling pretty cheezy on Friday night (and some of Saturday too!)
I made an assorted cheese tray and let's discuss how it turned out.

When I got home from meeting my new nephew (who, yes, is a kitty cat), I started soaking nuts.. Mhmm.

Cashews, Macadamias, Almonds...
I made dinner, I wasted some time... they had to soak up to 3 hours, after all that waiting - it was time.

I worked first on the cashew 'cheese'.  This was to be an herbed cheese, slightly like Boursin. I drained it, added my ingredients and whipped that baby into shape.  It had to set, however otherwise it would have been a gooey mess, so I plopped it into a container and put it in the fridge.
The next day when I popped it out I shaped it into a wedge and delved into it.  It's slightly Boursin like, not quite as tangy as Boursin though.  Great with carrots and crackers.  I will probably use this as a dip or spread.

The macadamia cheese was next - it was supposed to be a cheddary dippable cheese spread type situation... and that's what it was however a lot more bitter than cheddar, so I'd call it a sharp.   It works well as a dip, but I'll probably end up throwing it on hot macaroni or rice because to me it's a bit weird to eat as a dip.. don't ask me why, I couldn't tell you.  My taste buds just don't feel right with it that way. :P

Finished up with the almond cheese. I had to mix and drain this one as it was very 'milky'.  The ingredients in the cheese gave plenty of flavor to it's milk, and lo-and-behold I had a slightly thick 'milk' that tasted like alfredo sauce!    It was to be squeezed and set for 24 hours.  So I re-squeezed it in the morning, then rolled it out for my display.   As far as this one goes, it's slightly ricotta like - I might actually add a little almond milk and make a lasagna with this one and see how it works.  On the other end of the spectrum, keeping it dry reminded me of mizithra cheese, so I'm thinking if I add more salt, I may be able to create a white sauce with faux mizithra.  There are a few possibilities here.. (Mizithra being my favorite!)

So, I was impressed at my fine 'cheese' making skill.  Although I wouldn't call myself a pro by any stretch, I think I could improve on this.  And I'm excited on using my leftovers in different dishes.  Anyone want to try the herbed cashew cheese?  It's up for grabs.  The other two - I'm going to wow either myself or someone else with one of these cool evenings for dinner. ;)

Speaking of dinner, Saturday I decided to use the milk left over from the almond cheese and make an alfredo sauce with it.   I added salt, pepper, paprika and some mushrooms to the sauce (and a little butter) and let it reduce down while I cooked my pasta.  When it was ready I poured it over my pasta, threw a small smidge of vegan parm over it with my paprika and sat down to a yummy little dinner.   I was impressed.  I had no idea how easy it was to literally make my own alfredo w/o any soy involved (As I'm not a huge fan of soy). 

So - there you go, my nut cheese mania.. perfect platter for a holiday party of sorts if you'r into having cheeses at your parties.
You may not wow the real cheese eaters, but you'll impress your vegan friends!

So, I took the cheese left over from the almond milk (almond cheese, obviously) to a friend's house and we decided to make a white sauce (browned butter - er earth balance) and throw the dry almond cheese in it as Mizithra.  Mizithra is a very salty cheese, and it's said that Homer lived on it during writing the Iliad.  Hmm, maybe, regardless.. I salted the stuff up and with three of us in the kitchen, we created the yummiest topping for linguine..
May I present to you - a vegan version of The OSF's Browned Butter with Mizithra cheese!

 * Done Editing* ;)
What's next?
You might die of sugar shock.
Wait for it, (cuz you have to).
You'll be informed later this week.

Music enjoyed while blogging:
Car noise, my windows are open IN DECEMBER.

Current Craving:

Current Motivation:
I'm tired. I kinda look that way too. 

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