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Old 02-26-2013, 02:06 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by shagnski View Post
I am thinking Chemical reaction as well, but the sauce already had lemon zest and the juice of half a lemon before I added tomatoes.
Could you provide the recipe? Sometimes that makes it easier to diagnose problems.
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Old 02-26-2013, 03:42 PM   #12
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I am thinking Chemical reaction as well, but the sauce already had lemon zest and the juice of half a lemon before I added tomatoes.
Your sauce was 40 degrees over the separation point of the cheese.

Thats where I would start in this analysis.
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Old 02-26-2013, 04:39 PM   #13
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Maybe the heat? I was making up a shrimp pasta.
Sauteed Shrimp removed from pan.
Poured off most of the oil added Garlic.
added 1cup cream 1 cup skim milk as it was cooking down added zest of one lemon and juice of half a lemon, Oregano, basil.
Added one half cup of parm. sauce thickened nicely.
Added one can of drained diced tomatoes.
turned up heat to cook down tomatoes and then clump problem.
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Old 02-26-2013, 04:39 PM   #14
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Was it imported Italian cheese with "Parmigiano Reggiano" embossed on the rind?
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Old 02-26-2013, 04:49 PM   #15
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afraid it was Stella shredded in tub. Had not used this before.
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Old 02-26-2013, 05:49 PM   #16
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You should have added the cheese at the very end after your sauce was done and it had cooled down a bit. Cheese, any cheese doesn't like high heat. Cheese is just a flavor enhancer to the whole dish. Not to the whole pot. Hard cheeses do not like high heat ever. They don't act like semi soft cheeses like cheddar. Parm is a cheese that is supposed to be used at the table, not the stove top. If you include it in a dish you are putting together like lasagna you work with it when the dish is cold and all the ingredients are the same temp as the Parm. Then when it is put in the oven it heats up slowly along with the other ingredients.

The fact that it is Stella cheese is not a factor with your problem. We all buy what is available to us or we can afford. Your problem was with adding it to the high heat. I hope I explained this clearly.
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Old 02-27-2013, 07:17 AM   #17
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The fact that it is Stella cheese is not a factor with your problem. We all buy what is available to us or we can afford. Your problem was with adding it to the high heat. I hope I explained this clearly.
Actually, that's not true. We decided just for the heck of it to try some pre-shredded supposed parmagiano reggiano cheese that was on BOGO at our grocery within the last few months. It wasn't cheap either, at least for a single tub of it, not as expensive as the real stuff but still not cheap. We decided to try it just cause it was BOGO and we were out of the real stuff that's $20/pound at our regular convenient grocery. It was crap, tasted more like wax and and didn't melt right (made small clumps) when added to a sauce (tomato or cream based). I don't remember what brand it was but it wasn't some off the wall brand. I think we used most of one tub and chucked the other.

Let's put it this way, from now on, we'll either pay the $20/pound or make the trip to one of the other places where it's $12-14/pound or do without than try something like that again.
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Old 02-27-2013, 09:53 AM   #18
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Quote:
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Actually, that's not true. We decided just for the heck of it to try some pre-shredded supposed parmagiano reggiano cheese that was on BOGO at our grocery within the last few months. It wasn't cheap either, at least for a single tub of it, not as expensive as the real stuff but still not cheap. We decided to try it just cause it was BOGO and we were out of the real stuff that's $20/pound at our regular convenient grocery. It was crap, tasted more like wax and and didn't melt right (made small clumps) when added to a sauce (tomato or cream based). I don't remember what brand it was but it wasn't some off the wall brand. I think we used most of one tub and chucked the other.

Let's put it this way, from now on, we'll either pay the $20/pound or make the trip to one of the other places where it's $12-14/pound or do without than try something like that again.

The quality of the cheese really doesn't affect its ability to melt much.

But the type of cheese does.

As does the fat content.

And, obviously, the technique used matters most.

The quality of the cheese will absolutely affect the taste of your final product.
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Old 02-27-2013, 10:41 AM   #19
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Your sauce was 40 degrees over the separation point of the cheese.

Thats where I would start in this analysis.
jennyema has nailed this issue quite clearly. Cheese doesn't like it too hot, weird and ugly things happen when you try to mess with that.

Better luck on your next experiment.
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Old 02-27-2013, 10:48 AM   #20
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Thanks everyone for your help. I will next time avoid heat and be careful with the cheese I use. I tasted the lump i pulled out. It had the consistency and the taste of salty fresh mozzarella.
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