Poets have been mysteriously silent on the subject of cheese.
April 10, 2014 6:31 AM   Subscribe

What delicious things do you make with cheddar cheese? Breakfast, snacks, lunches, sandwiches, dinners, all are welcome.

I have been made responsible for approximately 2 pounds of cheddar cheese. All in one huge block.

Links to specific recipes are especially appreciated. For instance, please don't just say "macaroni and cheese" but rather "this macaroni and cheese* is my families favorite."

I know that cheddar freezes ok, but if I'm going to freeze any portion of it, I'd rather it be as/in something that can be eaten as soon as it's reheated, rather than transformed into something else after I thaw it. I am willing to grate the cheese and freeze it in smaller portions to use in...things... later. But what things beyond sprinkling it over chili?

Things I do know about: cheddar with apples. Cheddar with apple pie. Cheddar on burgers. Cheddar all by itself eaten gluttonously.

*This is just a random example I found with 10 seconds of searching. Feel free to offer up your favorite mac and cheese recipes. Maybe I will think to make comparisons.
posted by bilabial to Food & Drink (37 answers total) 42 users marked this as a favorite
Just yesterday I was thinking about making delicious Welsh Rarebit.
posted by taz at 6:39 AM on April 10, 2014 [3 favorites]

Delmonico potatoes are delicious, and I'm making them for Easter!!
posted by xingcat at 6:41 AM on April 10, 2014

Fry it till it's crispy on the bottom, squishy in the center. Heaven.
posted by waving at 6:41 AM on April 10, 2014 [5 favorites]

Spinach and Cheese
Asparagus and Ham
Sausage and Sun-Dried Tomatoes
Or whatever you want to put in, really. Onions, red peppers, pulled pork, bacon, artichoke hearts...
posted by beagle at 6:42 AM on April 10, 2014

Cheddar crisps. They keep on the shelf for a few days...if they even last that long.
posted by Bentobox Humperdinck at 6:45 AM on April 10, 2014 [1 favorite]

The bizarre sounding (the ingredients together sound gross to a lot of people when they see the recipe) but tasty & popular at parties Now Famous Cheese Ring
posted by pointystick at 6:47 AM on April 10, 2014 [1 favorite]

Good christ. Cheese. Take away my freedom, my dignity, but NEVER TAKE CHEESE AWAY FROM ME.

First of all, there is some great poetry, of a kind, about cheese.

Now we're in the mood, let me tell you that there is nothing you can't make a great lasagne with if you have enough cheese. in the bechamel sauce and grated on top. I like to include a grated layer in the middle too. why not?

Anyway - lasagne. There's the classic, with minced beef. There's meaty variations. There's vegetarian, with roast veg, or wilted spinach and ricotta, or my own invention: garlic mushroom and beetroot. Don't share that one around too much as I haven't patented it yet.

Mmmm cheese.
posted by greenish at 6:48 AM on April 10, 2014 [1 favorite]

I grated a bunch on top of a basic cabbage and sausage soup the other day. You should do that.
posted by something something at 6:49 AM on April 10, 2014

* pulls up chair and sits down *

1. Colcannon is a traditional Irish dish for which there are a gabillion recipes; I always go for the ones which use cheddar cheese. It's seriously easy: it's just mashed potatoes with chopped and steamed kale mixed in, spread in a serving dish, and then you add a layer of grated cheese on top and stick it under the broiler/in the toaster oven until the cheese melts.

2. Darina Allen (who is the Irish answer to Martha Stewart or Julia Child, if you go by "number of cookbooks") has a recipe for something she calls "West Cork Cheddar Cheese Foccacia" which I've liked. Can't find the recipe online, but it's easy to punt - you take your basic soda bread recipe (go for one with just flour, baking soda, and buttermilk, rather than anything using eggs as a leavener), and then rather than forming it into a loaf, you pat it flat into a baking sheet. Then sprinkle grated cheddar cheese on top before baking. Bake at 450 for 5 minutes, then turn the heat to 400 for another 25 minutes. It makes a nifty thing to eat with soup on a cold day.

3. Gougeres call for a different kind of cheese, but I've always used cheddar instead because it's my kitchen and I say so. Easy and deceptively fancy.

4. There are a metric shit-ton of online recipes for cheddar cheese crackers; some which also involve parmaesan, some which try to emulate Cheez-Its, some which claim to be like Goldfish crackers, some which you can slice and bake. (The slice-and-bake ones may fit your freezer-friendly thing - you can make up the dough, form it into a log, and then just keep the logs in your freezer ready to go.)

5. Cheese grits. (I honestly shouldn't need to say any more to sell you on cheese grits.)

6. You know how I said that I use cheddar cheese instead of Gruyere in my gougere cheese puffs because I say so? I do the same thing with cheese souffles. I promise you that all that guff about souffles being all complicated and difficult is not true, and it is something you totally and honestly can do:

* Can you separate eggs?
* Can you butter a dish and then sprinkle grated parmaesan in it so it sticks to all the butter?
* Can you whip egg whites?
* Can you slowly cook milk and egg yolks and flour over a stove so they thicken?
* Can you stir things into things?
* Can you fold things into things carefully?
* Can you stick something in an oven and leave it there for the required amount of time?

then you can make a cheese souffle. that's all it takes. Everyone just gets all bent out of shape because it's all puffy when you take it out of the oven, but the puff only lasts a minute and people are all sad when it goes away. But even when it's unpuffed it still tastes exactly like what it is - which is an omlette that was just made a different way.
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 6:55 AM on April 10, 2014 [7 favorites]

Cheese balls! I associate them with slightly old-fashioned hors d'oeuvres like pigs in a blanket or french onion soup dip, but those are my favorite kinds. There's lots of variations. This is the one closest to the recipe my mom gave me. So good spread on wheaty crackers and they last awhile in the fridge.
posted by juliplease at 7:00 AM on April 10, 2014

Cheese lasts longer than you might think. For longetivity, I wrap in wax paper then in plastic. If you anticipate this lasting for a while then you could cut it into a few chunks, wrap, use one at a time.

I like to make cheese sauce that can then be used with noodles or cooked cauliflower for stovetop mac and cheese or cauli and cheese, with chips and a bowl of salsa, on pretty much any vegetable, many sandwiches (Philly Steak and Cheese), added to any soup to make it cheese soup (add extra milk and cooked broccoli to make broccoli cheese soup).

Basically the cheese sauce is a bechamel with the cheese added. Throw some flour in a pan with equal parts butter and stir until toasty then whisk in about 1 cup of milk for each T of flour (more or less as you wish), season as desired with salt and optional pepper, paprika, cayenne, etc. Whisk until simmering and thickened. Then - this is important - take it off the fire and whisk in the grated cheddar until melted. Depending on how hard/sharp the cheddar is, it can be very easy to separate in the sauce if it gets too hot. A softer/milder cheddar will do better here (I think harder/sharper cheddar lends itself more to eating than cooking). Reheating needs to be watched carefully as, again, separating happens at too high a temperature.
posted by RoadScholar at 7:01 AM on April 10, 2014

EmpressC beat me to cheese grits, although in my recipe you also put in a few cloves of minced garlic and some Tabasco sauce. Mmm mmm.
posted by dlugoczaj at 7:06 AM on April 10, 2014

1) make polenta or grits

2) stir in a bonanza of shredded cheddar

3) serve as is as a side dish, or choose one of these options:

-chill, cut into rings, brush with oil and grill

-top with more cheddar and scallions

-saute shallots in butter until soft and browned, add a bunch of your favorite mushrooms, continue cooking until soft, throw on top of the grits

-pan fry a steak, saute shallots in the fat, until soft and browned, add a bunch of your favorite mushrooms, continue cooking until soft, deglaze pan with red wine or a very dark beer or broth, serve sauce over steak and grits
posted by Juliet Banana at 7:09 AM on April 10, 2014

My favourite thing to do with cheddar is an apple cheddar quiche. I generally use this recipe or one much like it, and saute the apples with cinnamon.
posted by jeather at 7:13 AM on April 10, 2014 [3 favorites]

In our house, the two main dishes prepared with cheddar are this macaroni recipe and, as others have mentioned CHEESE GRITS.
posted by saladin at 7:21 AM on April 10, 2014

Two pounds isn't very much. Cut it into sections, wrap them in wax paper, not plastic, and eat them. Even if a spot of mold develops, cut that part off and eat the rest. Or grate or shred a section and store in a ziplocked bag.
posted by Ideefixe at 7:21 AM on April 10, 2014 [1 favorite]

On the apple & cheese theme, grilled cheese sandwiches can be improved with a thin layer of apple butter or pumpkin butter. Not the sugary butters, the mostly just mashed kind.

Cheese straws are awesome. Use more cheese than the recipe suggests. Do freeze the dough, first, to make it easy to work with.

My favorite cheese biscuit recipe came from Metafilter, but right now I can't find it.

You're using sharp cheddar, right?
posted by Lesser Shrew at 7:23 AM on April 10, 2014

I can't believe no one's mentioned Red Lobster Cheddar Bay biscuits yet! I usually use Old Bay seasoning in place of the dried parsley, but it's oh so delicious and makes me the hit of any dinner party I bring them to.
posted by PearlRose at 7:27 AM on April 10, 2014 [3 favorites]

Cheese sauce!!

* 8 ounces extra sharp cheddar cheese (spicier version, substitute half the cheddar cheese with Pepper Jack and add 2-3 minced pickled jalape├▒os, or to taste.), grated on large holes of a box grater
* 1 tablespoon corn starch
* 1 (12-ounce) can evaporated milk
* 2 teaspoons Franks Red Hot or other hot sauce

Add cheese and cornstarch to large bowl. Toss to combine. Transfer to medium saucepan. Add 1 cup evaporated milk and hot sauce. Cook over low heat, stirring constantly with whisk until melted, bubbly, and thickened (about 5 minutes). Mixture will look thin and grainy at first but will thicken and come together after heating. Thin to desired consistency with additional evaporated milk. Serve immediately with fries, tortilla chips, burgers, or hot dogs.

To reheat the sauce, microwave it on high heat, stopping and stirring every 30 seconds until it's fully melted.
posted by alchemist at 7:28 AM on April 10, 2014 [2 favorites]

This pull-apart bread from Smitten Kitchen went over really well at a party I brought it to. It's sorta like a bunch of grilled cheese sandwiches smushed together; not a bad thing.
posted by Fig at 7:29 AM on April 10, 2014 [1 favorite]

Put it in a salad!

Yummy apple, spinach and cheddar salad

No link for a beetroot salad (cooked, skinned beetroot, arugula or other salad leaves, shallot, cheese (cheddar or feta or goat) + dressing). Yum.

The beetroot-cheddar combo is also nice as a pizza topping.
posted by travelwithcats at 7:34 AM on April 10, 2014

I'm going to add my voice to the cheese grits clamor. I know I should feel ashamed but I actually prefer garlic powder to fresh in this case. Garlic powder and cayenne.

A nice snacky thing is toasted rye with cheddar and strawberry jam.
posted by HotToddy at 7:37 AM on April 10, 2014 [1 favorite]


Pineapple Casserole

1 (20 oz) can pineapple tidbits
3 tbsp pineapple juice
1/2 cup sugar
3 tbsp all purpose flour
1 cup cheddar cheese, grated
1/4 cup melted butter
15 Ritz crackers, crumbled

Mix pineapple, juice, sugar, flour, and cheese and pour into 1 qt. casserole dish. Mix melted butter and crumbs and sprinkle over pineapple mixture. Bake at 350 degrees for 20-30 minutes.

posted by whimsicalnymph at 7:42 AM on April 10, 2014 [5 favorites]

I'm on a quesadilla kick. I make them for breakfast with eggs, veg and some sort of breakfast meat. Lunch I make veggie ones. Use whatever you have in the fridge. Dinner I like seafood ones.
posted by kathrynm at 7:51 AM on April 10, 2014

Do you have a dog? I made some homemade dog treats for my little guy. Here's a pic of him licking the food processor bowl.


-blend 2 cups of oatmeal, 2 tablespoons of parsley, and 1.5 teaspoons of baking powder in a food processor until powdery; set aside

-mix one jar of beef baby food, one tablespoon of honey, one tablespoon of peanut butter, and two eggs in food processor until smooth

-bend down and pat your dog on the head while telling him what a good dog he is, yes he is, who's a good dog, you are, you are the best dog

-add a half cup of shredded cheddar and pulse a few times

-add oat mixture in parts until well blended

-drop in teaspoonfuls onto a cookie sheet and flatten slightly

-bake for 15 minutes at 350┬░; yields approximately 3 dozen cookies (enough for friends!)

You should make sure to use low or no salt varieties of all your ingredients!
posted by phunniemee at 7:52 AM on April 10, 2014 [4 favorites]

This recipe for Glamorgan sausages calls for caerphilly or lancashire cheese, but I always make it with cheddar. The cooked sausages freeze pretty well and can be reheated in the oven.
posted by Janta at 8:09 AM on April 10, 2014 [1 favorite]

My personal fave thing to do with cheddar is take an ounce or so, cut it into tiny cubes, and put it in with the beaten eggs just before I scramble them. If the cubes are small enough, they just about melt completely at the same time the eggs are done. Excellent served with a bit of crumbled chorizo, tomato and scallion sprinkled over the top, served in a warm corn tortilla.
posted by Diablevert at 8:28 AM on April 10, 2014 [1 favorite]

If you can get hold of it where you are, cheese & Branston Pickle sandwiches.
posted by EndsOfInvention at 8:45 AM on April 10, 2014 [3 favorites]

Cheddar and broccoli soup is one thing I don't think I've seen mentioned yet.

My mother did some variation on cheese and potatoes frequently on Fridays during Lent. She'd do the colcannon mentioned upthread, but with spinach rather than kale. Another thing that I absolutely loved that's dead simple (although it would only use up much cheese in multiple servings) is to bake potatoes, then cut them in half and top them with steamed broccoli, salt and pepper, and shredded cheddar, then pop them under the broiler until the cheese was melted and a little brown. Another simple cheese and potatoes dish is to slice potatoes somewhere between a quarter and half inch thick, generously grease a baking tray (I'd use butter, but I think mom used cooking spray), sprinkle the potatoes with salt and pepper and then roast them (sorry, not sure what temperature or for how long) and after turning them over, cover them with shredded cheddar cheese.

And if you really want to go crazy with the potatoes and cheese thing: totchos.
posted by EvaDestruction at 9:09 AM on April 10, 2014

I mix shredded cheddar & corn kernals into waffle batter. Top the cooked waffle with honey. Yum!
posted by belladonna at 9:16 AM on April 10, 2014

This macaroni and cheese recipe. Ignore the reviews to double the pasta. 1&1/4 lbs of cheddar, handled.
posted by argyle dreams at 9:17 AM on April 10, 2014

Pimento cheese.
posted by carrienation at 9:20 AM on April 10, 2014 [2 favorites]

If you have access to a smoker, or even a covered grill, you could very easily smoke some or all of the cheese. To smoke cheese, leave it unwrapped in the fridge over night, which will dry it out a bit, which helps the smoke to stick.

In the grill or smoker, put a pie plate of smoke chips with maybe half a lit charcoal briquette. Under the grill the cheese is on, put another pie plate or Tupperware box filled with ice. Thai will keep the ice from melting. Close the lid, wait for a couple hours, smoked cheese.
posted by Ghidorah at 9:25 AM on April 10, 2014

This Cheddar Ale Soup is the stuff of dreams.
posted by rebekah at 9:42 AM on April 10, 2014

I'm about to blow your mind AND your taste buds.

Grate cheddar cheese on top of FRENCH TOAST instead of serving it with powdered sugar or maple syrup.

You're welcome!!
posted by jbenben at 9:46 AM on April 10, 2014

I've been known to cut cheese into sticks about three inches long and maybe 3/4 inch per side and wrap them in bacon. Try to get them completly covered and cook in a frying pan as you would normally cook bacon. If you wrap them well the cheese will melt inside the bacon and not leak out. If it does, it's not actually a problem either, it gets crispy and delicious.
posted by Jawn at 2:51 PM on April 10, 2014

It's almost easter. Cheddar grilled on halved hot cross buns is extraordinary!
posted by kjs4 at 5:06 PM on April 10, 2014

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