Saturday, 31 March 2012

Fun with Cheese: Cheese oil for cooking

While making the Macaroni and Cheese last week, I couldn't help but notice that the Basics mild grated cheddar I used was very oily. A thought crossed my mind then to try extracting and using the oil for culinary purposes. If proven effective, it would possibly be a way to save having to use more oil than necessary when cooking cheese-based dishes.

Chinese takeaways usually come in plastic microwave boxes with lids, so I microwaved the cheese on a lid on high for 30 seconds to see what happens. While the cheese quickly melted and gave up its oil readily, it was difficult to transfer the oil to the pan for cooking, since oil tends to stick to the plastic. An alternate approach was then tried where the cheese was put on low heat in the pan, and spread around to even out the distribution of any extracted oil.

Note the glossy sheen of oil the cheese has given the pan.

To see if the cheese oil is suitable for cooking, I made a three-egg omelette, adding a bit of Basics milk to stretch it out slightly and pepper for flavour.

From the photos, I suppose it is clear that the oil from the Basics grated cheese will be useful for frying. I suppose the most relevant application of this will be the making of cheeseburgers. The grated cheese can be microwaved or melted over low heat to form slices to place in the burgers later, with the oil it exudes used to grease the pan or grill to cook the burger patties.

It's a pity that the omelette, while tasty, did not turn out quite as well.

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