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Old 03-25-2009, 11:24 AM   #1
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Question What is parmesan cheese wedge block used for?

I watched TV cooking shows, and they call for parmesan cheese a lot. I just gave it a try and bought a wedge of it. I grated it and added it to my tomato sauce. The cheese was the gummiest thing ever. Worst of all, it hardened so quickly. Pan and utensils all covered with hardened cheese on. The texture of the sauce with parmesan cheese was terrible, and it was a very strange feel tasting it. What did I do wrong? I just added the grated cheese into the pan.

Why does the finely grated in almost lke power form of parmesan cheese not harden or create strange texture like the wedge does?

When do you use a wedge of parmesan and grate it yourself? In what kind of recipes in general? Thanks

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Old 03-25-2009, 01:14 PM   #2
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I don't grate the cheese, I use a microplane. It comes out much finer than grating with your average cheese grater. Did you use parmesan or parmesana-reggiano? Did you use a microplane or a cheese grater? I use block parmesan all the time. I cannot use the sawdust anymore more, not even on pizza.
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Old 03-25-2009, 01:41 PM   #3
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Just make sure that you add the cheese off the heat.

If you cook it it will become gummy and stick to the pan.
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Old 03-25-2009, 02:03 PM   #4
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Originally Posted by Lizannd View Post
Just make sure that you add the cheese off the heat.
If you cook it it will become gummy and stick to the pan.
That would depend on the recipe. I use greated parmesan in my chicken parmesan and it stays on the heat for hours without getting gummy. It would help if we knew what the OP was attempting when this happened and did they use a microplane or a grater. What size was the cheese when it went in?
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Old 03-25-2009, 02:39 PM   #5
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Lizannd is exactly right. Cheese should always be added to a liquid off the heat. If the liquid is too hot the cheese will seize and become gummy or grainy.

Make sure you grate the cheese very finely if you are adding it to soup.

And stir it in briskly -- off of the heat.
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Old 03-25-2009, 03:10 PM   #6
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Chueh...or grate your Parmesan onto your plated spaghetti - if it was spaghetti. Sometimes it should be used as a finishing product.

I hate it when it seizes up like that too!

You can also use a potato peeler and shave it onto salads OR your Itialian pasta dishes - excellent that way!
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Old 03-25-2009, 03:26 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by chueh View Post
Why does the finely grated in almost lke power form of parmesan cheese not harden or create strange texture like the wedge does?
There are other ingredients in that mixture that prevent clumping. Not sure I want to eat them, tho...

Quote:
When do you use a wedge of parmesan and grate it yourself? In what kind of recipes in general? Thanks
I use a wedge of Parmigiano cheese all the time. would not buy the pregrated, even from fresh cheese, and definitely not in the green can. Try a taste comparison for yourself. I really like that cheese, and when it is fresh (still fairly hard) I like to shave off "curls" of it and eat it with apples for a snack.
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Old 03-25-2009, 03:34 PM   #8
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Originally Posted by jennyema View Post
Lizannd is exactly right. Cheese should always be added to a liquid off the heat. If the liquid is too hot the cheese will seize and become gummy or grainy.

Make sure you grate the cheese very finely if you are adding it to soup.

And stir it in briskly -- off of the heat.
This assumes the OP's recipe is a liquid. As I said, I put it in my chicken parm red sauce (spaghetti or marinara) at the beginning of the dish, half way through while the dish is cooking, and at the end. That's why I asked what the OP was cooking. I have never had the cheese seize or become gummy and I've been making my crock pot chicken parm for years.

It would really be beneficial to know what the OP was using the cheese for so we can determine what exactly happened.
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Old 03-25-2009, 03:50 PM   #9
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Originally Posted by Callisto in NC View Post
This assumes the OP's recipe is a liquid.
The original poster said right up from that it was a sauce, which is a liquid.

Adding cheese to hot liquid will make it seize.

People ask about this here all the time in relation to cheese sauces and the answer is always the same. Take it off the heat.

Your crockpot probably doesn't get hot enough for it to happen.
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Old 03-25-2009, 03:55 PM   #10
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The original poster said right up from that it was a sauce, which is a liquid.
I admit I missed that but to me, and I know I see things differently something, not all sauce is liquid.

I guess it's different experiences. I've never had block parm seize or become gummy when I add it to my "sauce" but my sauce is super thick, not a liquid at all.
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