Want to make cheddar cheese, but don't have a cheese press or a cheese cave?
Maybe the thought of pressing cheese or aging cheese just sounds too complicated and you're not ready for it.
Well, I've got an idea for you!
Make fresh cheddar cheese curds.
If I'm pressed for time — or just not feeling like going through the extra steps of making a pressed wheel of cheese or aging it — this is what I make. We get all the flavor and stretchy melty goodness of cheddar, plus the ease of skipping some steps altogether. What's not to like?
When my sister and family were here at Christmas, they loved my fresh cheddar cheese curds. I put a bowl of them on the counter and everyone just munched on them like they were appetizers (what a good idea — I'm taking mental notes).
The process is simple. Make cheddar cheese (demonstrated on video in the Cultured Dairy and Cheese eCourse). Instead of putting the curds in the press, put them in a bowl to stash in the fridge. You should also salt them a bit less.
In the fridge, they'll sort of press together by their own weight, but it is nowhere near like a wheel of cheese because you can peel them apart. They'll keep for about 2 weeks. Over time, more whey will be released from the curds. You can drain this off every few days to prevent the curds from getting soggy. During this time, eat them!
Another thing: the curds squeak. I've heard this called “Squeaky Cheese” before! 😉
What to do with cheddar curds?
- Dice the curd strips for toppings on rice bowls, tacos, burritos, or other main dishes, etc.
- Dice the curd strips and use in cold grain salads or other salads
- Put strips on top of your almost-fried eggs, cover and let melt
- Use in grilled cheese sandwiches
- Use in cold sandwiches
- Strips or large dices for appetizers — serve with crackers and pickles
Do you have any cultured dairy shortcuts? Have you made or eaten fresh cheddar curds? Please share!
Cheddar is one of the most delicious and easy cheeses we make in the Cultured Dairy and Cheese eCourse. If you've been intimidated by the thought of making cheese, cut that out right now. I'd love to help you master it. 😉
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