Homemade American Cheese
I made my own American cheese years ago as I wanted a cheese loaf that tasted great, and had real cheese in it. It came out smooth. and delicious, and melted creamy, with just the right texture. Of course it took a few tries to get it just right. I do have to tell you though, it's easy to make, and tastes better by far than the store bought stuff. Plus, you can use a variety of cheeses to make it taste like you want it to taste. Here's my basic recipe, and technique.
Chief Longwind's American Cheese
1 1/2 teaspoons unflavored gelatin
1 tablespoon water
1 cup finely grated sharp, white cheddar (aged at least 2 years)
1cup aged, finely grated Ementella Cheese) (Swiss cheese)
1 cup aged Gouda, or Romano. finely grated.
1 tablespoon whole dry milk powder
1 teaspoon salt
1/8 teaspoon cream of tartar
1/2 cup plus 2 tablespoons whole milk.
1 tbs. Dijon mustard
Place gelatine and water into a bowl, stit, and let sit for 6 minutes. Combine cheeses and mix well. Heat milk over medium flame until it is just getting ready to boil. Stir in gelatine until completely dissolved. Whisk in mustard, dry milk, salt, and cream of tartar. Remove pot from heat. Slowly fold in cheese mixture. Stir until silky smooth.
Line a cookie sheet with cling wrap. Pour your cheese mixture into the pan and smooth to completely cover the pan. Chill in fridge for 1 hour. Cut into bread-sized slices and stack with waxed paper between slices. Wrap in plastic wrap and store in you fridge until ready to use on grilled cheese, or to top a burger, or make mac & cheese, however you want to use it.
Other cheeses that can be used:
Colby, medium cheddar, Gruyere, Butterkase, Monterey Jack, any firm, semi-hard cheese.
The secrets to this process is the mustard, adds flavor and is an emulsifier, whole fat powdered milk, adds texture and flavor, and the gelatine which stabilizes the cheese and helps the texture. Also, the dairy never comes to a boil, and so the molten sauce doesn't break.
Feel free to try different cheeses too, such as extra sharp Pinconning, or a good Edam, or even brick cheese. Add herbs if you want, or chopped, ripe olives, or peppers. This is your cheese. Tailor it to your favorite flavors.
Seeeeya; Chief Longwind of the North
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