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Behold the power of cheese!

Homemade American Cheese - recipe by America's Test Kitchen

I made cheese yesterday. Well, not from scratch exactly, but I did make cheese. American cheese. Good ol’ ooey gooey grilled cheese-style American cheese. I was compelled to do it when I saw an internet feed from America’s Test Kitchen promising to show me how to make homemade American cheese with no additives or preservatives (except for what may be in the block of Colby you start with). Seriously? For realz? Needless to say, I was in. All in.

The Complete Package and I love a melty grilled cheese sandwich. And since I started with a good quality all natural cheese, I’m feeling pretty content about making my own preservative-free cheese. I don’t know about you, but I find that exciting. Especially when homemade American cheese leads to homemade grilled cheese sandwiches toasted on a griddle with real butter. Excited yet? Well, I am. I’m practically drooling.

Here’s the rundown on what you’ll need:
One 2-cup mini-loaf pan lined with plastic wrap
Twelve (12) ounces of grated Colby cheese
Unflavored gelatin, combined with little water
Dry milk powder, salt & cream of tartar
Whole milk
A food processor & a rubber spatula
Approximately 20 minutes of your time

In a nutshell, you grate the Colby cheese on the ‘small hole’ side of your box grater and throw it in the food processor with the milk powder, salt & cream of tartar. You bloom the gelatin in a little water then add it to boiling milk, whisking until the gelatin dissolves. Then you start your food processor and slowly pour the milk/gelatin mixture into the cheese mixture, blending for at least one minute until the cheese mixture is smooth, creamy and a little glossy.

Grate it, blend it, mold it & fridge it. Easy peasy cheesy.

Then you simply scrape it into your prepared mini-loaf pan, pressing it to remove air bubbles and smoothing out the top. You then cover it tightly with plastic wrap and pop it in the fridge to set up (for 3 hours up to overnight).

I don't want to freak you out, but you're destined for sandwich greatness, my friend.

That’s it. It couldn’t be easier. And it only took about 20 minutes from start to finish, including lining the pan, making the cheese and washing the dishes. I’m impressed. I tell ya’ – the folks at America’s Test Kitchen know what they’re doing. I’m just grateful they are willing to share their knowledge with the rest of us. For the link to the actual recipe, click here. Handy tip: have some bread & butter on hand because you’re going to want to make a grilled cheese sandwich as soon as this is ready. I like mine with a steamy mug of tomato soup. Mmmm…

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