Author Archives: Alex

Can You Freeze Mascarpone?

Whether preparing a meal for yourself, or a lavish dinner for your family, mascarpone cheese makes the occasion special if you use it as an ingredient. In such situations, you might end up with some leftovers of the cheese from the recipe.

Mascarpone cheese is relatively easier to make than the other cheeses, but it requires a lot of time. For that reason, most people think they would rather make a large batch and freeze it for a couple of days.

The problem is can you freeze mascarpone cheese that can be used later during the year? Some people insist that freezing it could ruin the cheese. This can take a big toll on those who love the soft cheese as to what to do with it. Keep reading to find out the truth on whether freezing mascarpone cheese is the only option for you or not.

What is mascarpone cheese?

Mascarpone cheese has its origins from Northern Italy. There are a lot of theories about how the name came into existence, but one thing remains clear, this cheese was first made during the Renaissance period.

You can make mascarpone cheese from only two ingredients which are whole cream and citric or even tartaric acid. Since it’s quite simple to make, most people prefer making it at home, and it can be stored in an open container for a few days.

A well-made Mascarpone cheese should be smooth without lumps. It has a milky, sweet, and tanginess flavor. Its buttery flavor comes from the high content of butter. However, people who have tried to make this cheese admit that it tends to go bad quickly.

This cheese doesn’t have rennet, so it’s loved by most vegetarians. While rennet is commonly used to cuddle different varieties of cheeses, Mascarpone cheese uses an acid which you can get from either the fruits such as a lemon juice or you can use tartaric acid.

You can use mascarpone cheese in most of the desserts including tiramisu. It is a suitable replacement of cream cheese for those looking for a lighter and fluffier result.

Cooking with Mascarpone cheese

This is versatile cheese which was developed over many years ago to be used as an ingredient in the Italian dessert called tiramisu. No caterer, chef, housewife, or restaurant should be without it. It’s one of the most loved cheese you can ever find.

Apart from tiramisu, you can use mascarpone cheese on sweet and savory meals, leaving you to enjoy the cheese on all your favorite dishes. With its creamy element, it’s a suitable addition to pasta. You should use it alone or together with a sauce.

Now, a meal you can be proud of is only moments away when you use mascarpone cheese. If you want, you can also use the cheese as a replacement of cream in a lot of pasta dishes.

With mascarpone cheese, you can’t go wrong as you can make your dishes such as lasagna, baked rigatoni, and macaroni rich and creamy. If you enjoy thick soup, you can use this cheese to have a creamy dip.

Leaving space for dessert becomes mandatory when you consider this delicious cheese. One of the perfect ways to enjoy eating the cheese as a sweet dessert is by decorating on top of it with cocoa powder and chocolate shavings.

Can you freeze mascarpone?

Mascarpone cheese is so appetizing and full of flavor that most people wouldn’t stomach seeing it going to waste. While the cheese is not considered as the best item for freezing, there is a way you can preserve it.

So, everything boils down to can you freeze mascarpone that has been leftover? If you can’t resist a delicious meal with this cheese, freeze it. Since this is a soft cheese, the liquid and the solids separate from each other. However, you can whip the frozen mascarpone to restore its texture.

There are few kinds of soft cheese that you can successfully store in a freezer and mascarpone is one of them. Still, you will need to take some precautions when freezing it such as sealing the cheese in an airtight container.

Freezing mascarpone cheese

The mascarpone cheese which is open can be sealed tightly in its original container. Nevertheless, that’s not all as you need to pack it inside a plastic freezer bag to reduce the risks of it getting the freezer burn.

By now, it shouldn’t bother your mind to the question can you freeze mascarpone cheese which has been leftover? But, you need to consider the following steps.

  • If the mascarpone cheese is not open, leave it in its original package. However, if they are the leftovers that you are freezing, place the cheese into the freezer bag.

  • Squeeze out the air inside the plastic freezer bag before sealing it tightly. The air is the culprit for causing freezer burn.

  • Label the freezer bag with the date and name of the contents. The expiration date should also be indicated which is about three months after storing it in the freezer.

  • If you want to remove the mascarpone cheese, let it thaw in the refrigerator. After six to eight hours before you can take it out.

  • Pour it into a mixing bowl while it’s still cold. You can whip the cheese with the electric mixer to recreate its original structure. The whipping process should be done for one or two minutes until it appears thick and creamy once again.

Best practices for mascarpone cheese

The idea is to use mascarpone cheese which is almost in a perfect condition. Before using it, remove the cheese at least 8-12 hours earlier. Once it has thawed thoroughly, use a spoon to put it in a bowl.

At this point, the cheese should have separated and some grainy texture might be present. So, use a whisk to whip it until it separates and gets back to its original texture which is light and fluffy. Now, you are ready to use the mascarpone cheese as a recipe.

Can Cotija Cheese Substitute Queso Fresco?

Cheese lovers want nothing more than to enjoy making a delicious dish from their favorite type of cheese. Most people love Mexican cheeses as they have distinctive characters that they add to various dishes.

Have you heard about queso fresco? Well, this is one of the perfect Mexican cheeses to have on hand, especially if you are a fan of grilled foods, salads, and soups. It makes it easier for everyone to sit down and enjoy a meal of indulgent goodies.

However, most people who make Mexican recipes admit that it’s sometimes hard to locate queso fresco in their local supermarket. There are many other varieties of cheeses that you can use as a substitute for queso fresco, but most of them don’t give the exact flavor. The best you can get is the cotija cheese substitute queso fresco. So, let’s see if cotija is the ideal alternative to queso fresco cheese.

What are queso fresco and cotija cheese?

Queso fresco is a soft cheese that is known for its mild tanginess, saltiness, and crumbly texture. This is a fresh cheese which is traditionally made from either cow’s milk or a mix of cow’s and goat’s milk.

The production process is quite simple as the milk is acidified first. It’s then left to curdle before straining it in cheesecloth and you then press it. If you are making it at home, you can use it immediately or let it age for a couple of days.

But, traditional queso fresco has the reputation of not holding it for long, so it’s a good idea to use it in your recipe as soon as possible. The queso fresco cheese that is found in the supermarkets is in proper packages to last for a long time.

Cotija is another Mexican cheese that is sometimes referred to as the Parmesan of Mexico. It’s dry grating and salty cheese which has a crumbly texture. It adds a layer of flavor and creaminess to a lot of dishes, making it an ideal cheese to have around.

The traditional cotija cheese is made with cow’s milk. The cheese which is named after the Mexican city known as Cotija takes at least 100 days to age. It has a long shelf life even if its package is open.

How to use queso fresco

Queso fresco is a perfect ingredient to several dishes as it brings salty-sour kick, slightly acidic flavor, and its creamy characteristic provides freshness. It can give contrast to heavier dishes such as enchiladas or it complements light meals including salads and grilled vegetables.

The best way to use queso fresco is by crumbling it on top of beans, rice dishes, and salads. In Mexico, the cheese is used with Chilaca chiles which are mild dark green.

This involves charring the chiles which are then cut into thin strips. They then mix them with some other ingredients such as fresh lime juice and white onion and left alone for 30 minutes. You can eat it as a snack or side dish to fish or chicken. You don’t need to do any cooking at all.

Can Cotija cheese substitute queso fresco?

Cheese is so important to many people that eating as many varieties as possible is the only way of appreciating the flavors. However, it would take you a lot of searching to find the exact substitute of queso fresco cheese.

This cheese tends to taste more of milk than cream or butter. It’s not surprising that this delicious flavor attracts people to find out more about Cotija cheese substitute queso fresco. The good news is that most of the Mexican cheeses including cotija are uniquely salty. The thing is, queso fresco is fresh and it’s not dry like cotija cheese.

Nevertheless, you can crumble queso fresco and cotija in the same way. Plus, queso fresco is softer, mild in flavor, and a bit creamier than cotija. Okay, so both cotija and queso fresco are technically Mexican cheeses, but queso fresco is suited well for frying or grilling.

As you can see cotija cheese substitute queso fresco is the best option you can have. Cotija which is an aged cheese is ideal for the creamy and salty topping to salads and enchiladas just like queso fresco. Both kinds of cheese are salty and they have a crumbly texture.

When to use queso fresco

You might have seen queso fresco in various Mexican dishes, displaying a beautiful sprinkling of whiteness on top of a dish. This is a mild cheese and versatile. Since it’s milky, it offsets the strong flavor from chiles and spices commonly present in most of the Mexican dishes.

Queso fresco has a sour taste making it a favorite for fresh salads. It balances the richness of most dishes, helping you to enjoy a meal in your own home. This is why some people enjoy putting the cheese on almost every dish or as a replacement for goat cheese and ricotta.

Storing it

You can eat the fresh queso fresco, and store the leftovers to prevent them from going bad. In such a situation, take the following steps.

  • Wrap the cheese tightly in a plastic freezer bag and make sure you squeeze out as much air as possible.

  • Keep the cheese in the refrigerator for up to two weeks.

Use it as a filling and topping

Queso fresco gets soft when you heat, but it’s hard to melt. You can still melt it with low heat for some time. The cheese will turn into a sauce or cheesy dip; however, it will still have its chunky state. You can then stuff it into chiles.

In case you want to use queso fresco for topping, here are some of the dishes you can use it on.

  • Toss queso fresco into a salad. Instead of using the usual options such as feta, this cheese makes an ideal alternative.

  • Use the cheese as a garnish for soup. It’s perfect for either a cold summer soup or warmer soups.

  • Roll queso fresco onto corn by covering every kernel.

  • You can crumble it atop Mexican dishes to reduce the heat.

Can You Freeze Ricotta Cheese?

A big variety of cheese is available on the market that excites your taste buds, and ricotta cheese is one of the finest. “A whole new meaning to delicious food” is the phrase that most people who use this cheese as part of the recipe speak about.

If you happen to have leftovers of ricotta cheese in your home, it can be mind-blowing to think about what to do with it. It’s quite bothering to be in such a situation because ricotta cheese is known to easily go bad if you don’t store it properly. So here is the thing, can you freeze ricotta cheese?

Well, all is not lost as there is a way that you can use to keep ricotta cheese in good condition. It means you don’t have to worry about throwing the leftover ricotta cheese in the bin. Keep reading to find out what you can do to prolong its life.

What is ricotta cheese?

For those who are hearing ricotta cheese for the first time, the name ricotta is from Latin which means “cooked twice.” This is a fresh and soft cheese which is you can make from either the cow’s milk or skim milk.

Ricotta cheese has a relatively smoother texture than most of the other varieties of cheese such as cottage cheese. The other unique thing is that it has a slightly sweet taste and a pearly white color. To know if you have a good quality of ricotta cheese, check if it’s firm and it has fine granules.

It’s easy to identify the ingredients after tasting this tasty creamy white cheese. You will have memorable moments when you take ricotta cheese in Lasagna and cheesecakes.

Can you freeze ricotta cheese?

The question is, can you freeze ricotta cheese? It’s actually possible to freeze ricotta cheese. Like most of the natural foods, you can freeze the ricotta cheese to prevent it from going bad. However, it affects the quality of the cheese. It’s texture changes but the flavor remains the same. Ricotta cheese is pretty soft, so freezing it transforms the moisture into ice.

If you choose to freeze ricotta, expect the damage to the shape of the cheese because of the ice that forms. The alters in texture can be seen once you thaw it. People who try to freeze it have a lot of things to say about the damages in texture.

The good news is that you can attempt to save the damaged texture by stirring it with a spoon. Unfortunately, the grainy texture will still be felt by some people as it doesn’t completely go away. So, the next time you have leftovers of ricotta cheese, put them in a freezer, of course, for safekeeping.

Freezing Ricotta Cheese

Most supermarkets use a plastic container to package most of the ricotta cheese. This ensures that its quality remains intact. If the package is not open, there is no problem freezing it directly.

But, can you freeze ricotta cheese which has been leftover? Yes, you can. If you want to freeze it, then you need to put the cheese in a freezer bag or an airtight container. To freeze ricotta cheese, here are some interesting steps that you may not have known and you need to follow.

If the ricotta cheese is still in its original package, freeze it directly into the freezer. However, if it’s open, then stir it with a spoon and you should drain the excess liquid by pressing it down. This will help the cheese to freeze more evenly.

Wrap the cheese in plastic before storing it in a freezer bag or an airtight container. It’s ideal that you portion the ricotta cheese for easy defrosting. You must press out the air before sealing it.

Label the freezer bag or container with the date of storage. It’s recommended that you should not store the ricotta cheese for more than two months.

Thawing frozen ricotta cheese

You should thaw the frozen ricotta cheese in the refrigerator. Never thaw it on the counter as it will only help increase the growth of bacteria. Mix the cheese with a spoon to reconstruct whey and curds which were separated.

Use the cheese before two days elapses to avoid it going bad. You can store the cheese which you didn’t use in the refrigerator for the second time, but it has to be up to seven days.

Best practices for freezing ricotta

There is no limit to the ways you can store ricotta cheese. It can be frozen using several materials including an airtight container, aluminum foil, plastic freezer bag, and plastic wrap. The plan is to go out of your way to make sure that you maintain high quality. The best way to do this is to portion the cheese into smaller sizes which are about eight ounces.

Some of the ricotta cheese can be put into ice cube trays using a spoon while you can place the small portions in airtight containers or freezer bags. Foods are always safe for consumption if they are kept in temperatures of 0 degrees Fahrenheit and below.

Great care should be taken because the quality of ricotta cheese gets affected a month after been stored in the freezer. The color and texture alter, and this makes it not that delicious as it was supposed to be.

It’s only good that the leftovers of your ricotta cheese don’t go to waste. While freezing has nothing to do with the taste and quality of the cheese, the freezing and thawing process does affect the structure of whey and curds.

Most people are still delighted to freeze the ricotta cheese. It has a lot more to offer than you might have realized as it suits perfectly for cooking recipes even better than fresh cheese.

What is the Right Substitute for Goat Cheese?

Cheese lovers know that it can be difficult to find out that your favorite cheese flavor is not available in the local shops. For those who are imaginative, they create alternatives to make their meals special.

While some people don’t like the taste, smell or even texture of goat cheese, others are fans of this delicious cheese. Goat cheese comes in different forms, and it has been around for many years. Today, the name chevre refers to the goat cheese.

Since it can always be challenging to find this cheese in the supermarkets, this is why knowing the right substitute for goat cheese will save your day. If you’re a goat cheese lover who couldn’t find any of it to make a recipe, this post will help you know the substitutes that you can use.

What is goat cheese?

Unlike most of the other cheeses which are made from cow milk, goat cheese implies a type of cheese from goat milk. The cheese is a firm people’s favorite as it has a strong and unique flavor. The other outstanding thing is that it has a special texture that is difficult to find in the other varieties of cheeses.

From the moment you take the first bite, the goat cheese melts in your mouth, releasing a flavor and texture that is divine. Ideally, it’s no surprise that it’s hard to find an exact substitute for goat cheese because of this fact.

If you are lucky, you will come across some cheeses with a similar flavor, if not then the texture might be similar. This means choosing your recipe will be on the preferences of an individual.

How to use goat cheese​

When preparing everyday meals, goat cheese is a rich treat that makes any occasion special. It has low fats, calories, cholesterol, and carbohydrates. Most people love it because it’s easily digestible. The list below shows how you can use goat cheese.

  • Goat cheese has a lot of flavor and creaminess, which makes it suitable as a spread on bread.

  • You can make a pizza with goat cheese. You can also use it together with pesto, butternut squash, and greens.

  • You can wrap up goat cheese together with roasted vegetables such as grilled mushrooms and eggplants. This will make a delicious meal and superb for the dinner table.

  • You can top salads with goat cheese. The salads such as steak and potato salad together with goat cheese are complete meals. Some are unique in that their imaginative combination you can serve them warm. Others are fresh and natural, making them perfect cold salads for light meals.

Substitute for goat cheese

As mentioned earlier, finding a substitute for goat cheese should focus on whether you are trying to get either the flavor or the texture. It’s almost impossible to preserve both of them in the recipe.

If you don’t have the goat cheese but you still want something with a similar flavor or texture, consider the following substitutes.

Mascarpone cheese

This a type of soft cheese with a creamy texture, and it easily comes as a substitute for goat cheese. However, it lacks the acidic and tanginess flavor that is in goat cheese. What you can do is to add yogurt to the recipe to get that sharp flavor you need.

Feta cheese

Feta cheese is produced from sheep’s milk. It’s traditionally crumbly, salty and creamy. If you can’t stand the smell of goat cheese, this is a better one for you. It’s also considered one of the healthiest cheese in the world.

Cream cheese and Feta cheese

These two varieties of cheese are quite different because you’ll have to mix them. Despite the fact that it involves a bit of work to combine them, the results are worth it.

The mixture has the right taste of salt and texture. Plus, you can add some herbs and spices to get the flavor. This one is definitely the people’s favorite.

Closer substitutes for goat cheese

There are several substitutes, but the ones listed below share closer similarities with the goat cheese. So, next time you are doing a substitute for goat cheese shopping, put a healthy helping of these cheeses in your basket.

Cream cheese

Cream cheese has a similar flavor to the goat cheese, however, its texture is pretty different. This suits well for dessert, so your creativity can come into play, especially when you are making sweet foods such as cheesecakes.

Most people consider Cream cheese as a suitable substitute because of their close taste similarities. You can use it on bread including toast and bagel.

The Light and Blight Ricotta

If there is another favorite substitute for goat cheese, then it’s Ricotta. The name means “recooked.” It has almost the same smooth texture and a slightly sweet taste that comes with it.

You won’t run out of ideas because Ricotta is quite versatile. It’s great in sweet foods such as cheesecake and pies. It can also be used in savory foods including pizza, toast, and pasta. You can make ricotta cheese from either cow’s milk, sheep’s milk, or even goat’s milk.

Tips for making substitute goat cheese

If you are trying new recipes, make sure that you follow these tips. This will help you get the right substitute for goat cheese.

  • You can soak in water or milk some varieties of cheeses as this gives them the texture which is more creamy. This can be done in cheeses such as Feta cheese, but use a small quantity of it before using the entire block to assess the results first.

  • You have a chance of getting away with various textures if you do your homework right. It’s important to know whether the cheese is going to be used cold or hot. You can have different textures when you melt the cheese. Even if it’s going to be mixed into the recipe, expect to get some unique textures.

What To Serve With Cheese Souffle?

There is something about cheese souffle that always makes me crave for it. It doesn’t matter how I prepare it, the results are always tasty. I have been making them at home for years and adding to it all the delicious flavors of the season.

Cheese souffle is a firm favorite savory dish with an amazing flavor and texture. However, it’s surprising how few people know what to serve with cheese souffle. There is no limit to the ways you can serve this decadent delight.

It is made from three types of cheese which are Cheddar, Swiss, and Parmesan. They are usually used to boost flavor and make the meal special. Let’s see how you can prepare and what can be used to serve with cheese souffle.

How should I serve a cheese souffle?

A cheese souffle is airy and fluffy. This dish is amazingly versatile and it can be served at lunch or supper. Some people are imaginative and love to use it as a starter, a main dish or a savory.

What can I say, I love cheese souffle because it’s economical as it’s tasty and easy to make. It’s fabulously fortifying without being filling. You can prepare it in a large souffle dish or in smaller dishes. The trick is to make sure that everyone is prepared to eat it once you take it out of the oven. The dish doesn’t tolerate to be too late to the dinner table.

Preparing cheese souffle

To make a cheese souffle, you have to master three important easy techniques. Making a sauce of egg yolks, beating egg whites to create firm peaks and folds, and a way in which the egg whites are mixed into the sauce.

A cheese souffle needs to be assembled and baked before serving. They are made with heavier ingredients, which makes them vulnerable to disaster. If they are assembled very early, the cheese will be at the bottom while the fluffy egg white mixture will be at the top of the baking dish.

Timing is everything

A cheese souffle is an excellent and affordable standby and can be turned quickly and easily into an exciting meal. If everything such as a pan, electric mixer, and ingredients are ready, it takes almost 15 minutes to assemble a cheese souffle from start to finish. A dish that serves four to six people takes about 30 to 35 minutes to cook.

Because baking cheese souffle is touch-and-go, timing is everything. If the egg whites are floppy, it will not rise. You will have soupy stuff if it’s underbaked, and if it’s overbaked, it will collapse right in the oven.

Perhaps the oddest thing is that if it will fall within moments if you delay taking it to the dinner table for your guests. People will doubt you if you tell them how high it was when it first came out of the oven. The only thing you can do is to hope for the best and prepare for the worst.

However, if you are preparing a cheese souffle for your guests, try a couple of test runs. After a few attempts, you should have it mastered. A collapsed souffle doesn’t look great, so you wouldn’t want to serve it.

Here is a strategy you can use. Let the cheese souffle bake, keeping it undisturbed for about 80 percent of its estimated baking time. Then, for the rest of the cooking time, check for the crown that it’s perfectly browned. The crown eventually collapses when you remove it from the oven, and below it, you will see a flat, heavy layer of cheese. Lastly, shake the dish to make sure that it’s not wobbling a lot.

What to serve with cheese souffle​

Now, there is no time to waste. Even the cheese souffle which has been perfectly cooked will collapse eventually. So be prepared to serve it once you take it out of the oven. Souffles that are cooked individually should be placed right on the serving plates and taken to the dining table.

A large souffle should be taken to the table. A serving spoon and fork should be used to cut it in the center. The dish is less likely to crash if you cut it right in the center as opposed to cutting it around the edges.

Cheese souffle is superb for the dinner table. I tend to eat it as a light supper. Serving them with fresh green salad or sausages makes them perfect for a light meal.

What to serve with cheese souffle depends on your taste but it can also make a nice starter to a formal meal. Crusty French bread can be served with cheese souffle. If you want to have soup, keeping it simple is the way to go and the traditional tomato soup is a perfect one. It is the same type of soup that is served with a grilled cheese sandwich.

Because cheese contains some natural salt flavor, the best to serve with cheese souffle is by having a crunching salad that has apples or pears. Some people serve it with crusty French bread, homemade chutneys, a fresh cucumber, and courgette pickle.

Taste differs because some people love it served with baked beans, fresh salad or crispy bacon; either way, the results are delicious. So, don’t be afraid to try it out as it is completely worth it.

Inside the heart of every cook, there is a determination to make a perfect meal. So, next time you are baking a cheese souffle, don’t shudder at looking at the other ways of What to serve with cheese souffle. Such a rich treat should ideally be prepared at home, leaving you with plenty of time to revive the lost art of home-made dishes.

Other cooks guarantee success with their tried methods. However, few of them agree on what the perfect method should be. While I might not recommend inexperienced cooks to take on cheese souffle as a project, practice makes perfect. So, three or four of them under your belt will give you all the confidence you might need.