Cooking with Cheese

Prachi Joshi

There’s more to cheese than just serving up a cheese platter!

It’s quite easy to offer a selection of cheeses on an elegant wooden board or tray (always serve them in odd numbers – 3, 5, 7 types of cheese). However, cooking with cheese is a whole different ball game, one that can seem a bit daunting at first. Here are our tips on how to cook with cheese.

Know the Difference
Different cheeses react differently when heated. Some cheeses will not fully melt. The ones that do will melt into different textures. So you may need to experiment a bit.
• Mozzarella, Scarmoza and Provolone will melt into a stretchy, stringy texture – use on pizza or stuff into croquettes
• Cheddar, Emmental, Gruyere and Gouda will melt into a deliciously smooth, viscous texture – use in toasted sandwiches, baked pasta dishes and in tarts
• Ricotta, Feta, Paneer (and Cottage Cheese) do not melt; though they may soften a bit, they do not lose their shape and flow – use in salads or cheesecakes
• Parmesan (parmigiano-reggiano) is a very hard, aged cheese and doesn’t melt, unless it’s finely grated and added to a sauce.

Heat it Right
• Keep the heat low when you cook with cheese. If the heat is too high (or if you heat it for too long), the water and fat content in the cheese reduces and you end up with a rubbery mess. This is especially awful when it happens to your fondue, and it’s not something that can be salvaged.
• Always bring the cheese to room temperature before heating it. This way you will reduce the amount of time the cheese needs to be exposed to heat before it melts.
• Instead of using a big lump of cheese, cut, shred or grate it before cooking. The surface area that is in contact with the heat source increases and the cooking time decreases. Also the cheese will cook more uniformly.

For your next party, try serving cheese differently. A dish of baked brie will add a hint of sophistication. 

  • Note: Whether the perfect cheese platter or a selection of gourmet cheese to cook with, find the finest quality of cheeses at the nearest Foodhall store. For store details, click here.