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Old 11-04-2006, 06:45 PM   #1
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Wink Parmesan did not melt. Help.

I tried to make a alfredo sauce tonight and the Parmesan did not melt??I sauted garlic in a little Olive oil, butter and red pepper flakes on low heat, took the garlic out after ten min. added half and half-- heated, the the grated Parm, simmered for awhile -------- never melted, so just added my pasta anyway,and tossed. Dh and said it was good- I haven't tried it yet - look like cottage cheese! Why ????

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Old 11-04-2006, 07:21 PM   #2
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Sometimes mine doesn't melt either - possibly it's because it's a hard cheese and hard cheeses don't melt like softer ones. I have started putting less in the cream and tossing it in in a large pasta bowl at serving time - usually with an egg yolk or two also.
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Old 11-04-2006, 07:40 PM   #3
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It sometimes doesn't melt for me either. Just make your cream sauce and then toss generous amounts of parmesan in the dish after you pour the alfredo on the pasta. It'll be fine that way too.
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Old 11-04-2006, 08:18 PM   #4
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Thanks all, feel better now , it did taste alright though. Thanks for the rapid reply !!
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Old 11-04-2006, 08:28 PM   #5
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what quality parm were you using? I have had issues with parm, or asiago not incorporating the way I like due to the quality, or "waxxy-ness" of it.
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Old 11-04-2006, 08:38 PM   #6
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Tell me if I'm being stupid, but could it be that what you're seeing is the sauce breaking when you simmer after adding the cheese?

I was taught to do all the simmering to thicken and then whisk in the cheese off the heat so it wouldn't curdle.
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Old 11-04-2006, 08:52 PM   #7
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that might be what is happening, but parm is usually a very tolerable cheese. I have had a few gorgonzola sauces break, but the acisity level is more.
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Old 11-05-2006, 12:26 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Andy M.
Tell me if I'm being stupid, but could it be that what you're seeing is the sauce breaking when you simmer after adding the cheese?

I was taught to do all the simmering to thicken and then whisk in the cheese off the heat so it wouldn't curdle.
Andy, I think you are a genius. Good thinking my freind. Both too much heat, and too much acid can cause a sauce to break. Both act on the protien. I wonder if the heat was turned down, would the cheese melt better and produce a smoother result?

I too was taught to remove the pan from the heat before adding the cheese. But ya know, I have been known to forget that step with forseeably bad results.

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Old 11-05-2006, 06:12 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TATTRAT
what quality parm were you using? I have had issues with parm, or asiago not incorporating the way I like due to the quality, or "waxxy-ness" of it.
It was in a tub already grated from Italian meat market I go too, just said grated parmesan.
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Old 11-05-2006, 09:06 AM   #10
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"It was in a tub already grated " probably nbr. one problem.

I'm in the camp of 'that's the beauty of Parm' - it doesn't completely melt away - it is itself in sauces, if you use nice fresh parmigiano-reggiano.
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Old 11-05-2006, 09:39 AM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cjs
"It was in a tub already grated " probably nbr. one problem.

I'm in the camp of 'that's the beauty of Parm' - it doesn't completely melt away - it is itself in sauces, if you use nice fresh parmigiano-reggiano.
Thats a little pricy for me, have never bought it. I just bought a block of Romano, would that have worked? Haven't opened it yet ! Iam just a old fashion cook, trying a few new things. Both set of grandparents were farmers, meat and potato people! Thanks all for your help and ideas !
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Old 11-05-2006, 09:42 AM   #12
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Some pre-grated cheese contains cellulose, to keep it from sticking together. It also prevents it from melting properly.
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Old 11-05-2006, 09:53 AM   #13
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Barb. sometime treat yourself to just a tiny chunk of Parmigiano Reggiano. Shave off a bit with a vegetable peeler and let it melt in your mouth. Not one of the "grated Parm's" most folks use taste like that! It's very special. Once you know what that tastes like, you will be better able to choose soemthing that comes close...
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Old 11-05-2006, 10:03 AM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ChefJune
Barb. sometime treat yourself to just a tiny chunk of Parmigiano Reggiano. Shave off a bit with a vegetable peeler and let it melt in your mouth. Not one of the "grated Parm's" most folks use taste like that! It's very special. Once you know what that tastes like, you will be better able to choose soemthing that comes close...
Will do, if I can find a small chunk.
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Old 11-05-2006, 11:39 AM   #15
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I have had good luck with the shredded parmesan sold in the resealable bag, I think it was probably Kraft. I always have to splurge in the store and buy myself a good hunk of cheese, too. Fresh mozzarella is my weakness! But so is homemade alfredo!
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Old 11-05-2006, 05:14 PM   #16
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I would suggest fresh Parmesan cheese and there are times when my doesn't melt either. After everything is cooked I put a lot of Parmean cheese of the top and it tastes fine.
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Old 11-05-2006, 07:05 PM   #17
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Originally Posted by shpj4
I would suggest fresh Parmesan cheese and there are times when my doesn't melt either. After everything is cooked I put a lot of Parmean cheese of the top and it tastes fine.
I just thought all cheese melts, guess not- but it did taste pretty good. Thanks for you input !
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Old 11-06-2006, 10:13 AM   #18
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Parmesano Regiano does melt. In fact, there is an appetizer made by plcing small blobs of grated parm on parchemnt paper and baking in the oven until they become flat, lighlty browned disks of melted parmesan. They are then removed and allowed to cool, and served up with appropriate meals and snacks.

If you use fresh parmensano regiano and grate it into your sauce, it should combine smoothly into the sauce. With the pre-grated stuff, or the dried stuff in a can, you are defintely taking chances with the quality of your sauce, that is if you expect to have a satiny-smooth sauce.

I'm in the camp that yes, it still tastes great to sprinkle fresh parmesan on foods, and have the light crunchiness and flavor of the cheese add to the dish. But if you want a smooth sauce, don't settle for anything less. It can be done succesfully if proper technique and good ingredients are used.

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Old 11-06-2006, 05:13 PM   #19
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The thing with fresh, authentic Parmigiano Reggiano is the flavour. Ageing the Parmigiano is key to its extraordinary flavour, and no pre-grated, pre-packed imitation will ever come up to scratch, because it is neither aged as long, nor in the same conditions.
What am I trying to say? For every kilo (or pound) of cheap parmesan you use, you'd probably only need half that amount of the real thing.
There's an interesting saying over here:
"Lo barato sale caro" (Cheap stuff usually works out expensive!)
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Old 11-06-2006, 06:57 PM   #20
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I've had problems with gorgonzola breaking on me but never had a problem with fresh grated parm-reg. What I usually do is first, grate the cheese and let it come to room temperature then add it to whatever sauce before it gets too hot. Any white sauce I make comes off the stove just a tad early to kep the consistancy I want. I think I would take the advise of others and do away with the cheese your buying and get a piece of parm-reg. It lasts a long time, when it's done I use the rind in sauces too.
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