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PROCESSED CHEESE: IDEAS AND TIPS FROM A CHEESE MAKER FOR SUCCESSFUL DISHES

 

PROCESSED CHEESE: IDEAS AND TIPS FROM A CHEESE MAKER FOR SUCCESSFUL DISHES

PROCESSED CHEESE: IDEAS AND TIPS FROM A CHEESE MAKER FOR SUCCESSFUL DISHES


Ultimate comfort food level, we haven't found anything better than processed cheese dishes. But apart from palette and fondue, what do we eat? How do you twist your plates? Answers with the cheese-refiner Léo Begin from La Fruitier.

PROCESSED CHEESE: IDEAS AND TIPS FROM A CHEESE MAKER FOR SUCCESSFUL DISHES



THE FRUIT-GROWER IN TWO WORDS?

We opened La Fruitier in July 2017 with my mother, Véronique Voice, First Cheese maker of Belgium 2016. It is obviously a cheese dairy (95% of our cheeses are made with raw milk) but also a dairy, we make our yogurts and dairy products with organic milk of Belgian origin. There is also a tasting area and four maturing cellars. Here, we work directly with the producers, they are small craftsmen who come from Belgium but also from France, Italy, Holland, Switzerland and England.


WHICH CHEESES ARE BEST SUITED FOR MELTING?

There are obviously many, but the idea to remember is not to go for cheeses that are too dry. The objective is to bring a little of paste. With an old Parmesan, we'll go straight to the fat for example and the texture will not be ideal. That's why palette is perfect: it's a soft cheese, there's still water left in it.


ANY IDEAS FOR DISHES BASED ON PROCESSED CHEESE?

This year, Mont d'Or comes in shape. It is a cheese that is only eaten in winter and is made in the Jura mountains. It's easy to make, just put the box in the oven, add a few potatoes, and you're happy. You can also use it as an alternative to cabochon in a tartiflette for example, stuff it with squash or apples and cider. In our cheese bar, we also propose grilled cheese made with country bread and a mixture of cheeses (goat's cheese, palette, provolone...). Another way to bring a touch of originality is to replace cheddar by a monk's head in a burger. It melts very well, and sliced, it's almost the size of a loaf of bread, so it's ideal. And finally, a great classic still too little known in Belgium is the alight. It is a beautiful mashed potato mixed hot with fresh tome. It is easy, economical and comforting.

PROCESSED CHEESE: IDEAS AND TIPS FROM A CHEESE MAKER FOR SUCCESSFUL DISHES


A COOKING TIP?

It will depend on the cheese but if we heat it too hard, we will separate the lipids. Result: the oil will rise, which will give this very fatty side. We advise going very slowly during cooking to keep the creamy and smooth side of the cheese. A Mont d'Or for example, we will put it at 170, 180 degrees for about twenty minutes. And if we want a nice crust, we finish a few minutes under the grill. If you want to stuff a cheese with herbs or apples, it's better to add these ingredients beforehand so that they cook inside and infuse. On the other hand, it's better to add nuts or mushrooms at the end so that they don't cook too long.


A ZERO WASTE RECIPE BASED ON PROCESSED CHEESE?

Mac and cheese is ideal for emptying the bottom of the fridge and not throwing anything away. Just grate a cheese that has become a little too strong on pasta. If you also have a leftover homemade kimchi, it will make an excellent combo.


AND AN ORIGINAL DISH?

At the moment, it's the season for Fabiola di Roccaverano. It's a DOP cheese from Italy that is wrapped in a green cabbage leaf. Here we work with a producer who wraps it in leek leaves. We cook the product directly like this, the vegetable will come to perfume the cheese, it's very interesting.


IDEAS FOR TWISTING A PALETTE?

We can add smoked paprika or masala or Colombo spice mixes for example. In our store, we also offer 19 different varieties of palette cheese: with roasted hemp seeds for the vegetable and crispy side, with hay for the herbaceous and sweet aspect, with saffron, pink pepper, sheep's milk for lactose intolerant people, etc. But even if the cheese is flavored, it is the first to be tasted. As a cheese maker, we tend to advise people not to take too many different varieties so as not to saturate. Two, three is good enough. In the same vein, we recommend that customers who choose our palette cheese with large truffle shavings end the meal with this.

PROCESSED CHEESE: IDEAS AND TIPS FROM A CHEESE MAKER FOR SUCCESSFUL DISHES


THE RIGHT DRINK TO ACCOMPANY A PROCESSED CHEESE DISH?

If you want to drink wine, we recommend white wine. The tannins in red wines bring bitterness to the fat of the cheese. If you really prefer this color, then choose fresh, light wines instead. We therefore avoid Bordeaux or Côtes-du-rhône because of their heaviness. For my part, I also really like gauze or cider. If you make palette you can also drink tea, simple herbal teas, not too complex. Cold liquids quickly solidify the melted cheese in our stomach, that's what gives that bloated feeling.


A TIP FOR A SUCCESSFUL FONDUE AT HOME?

Take your time, don't cook it too hard so as not to rush the cheese. And you don't need many different cheeses: half Catherine bourgeois (for the texture, the smooth and creamy side) half Gruyère (for the aromatic, salty, roasted side). A classic mistake is to put too much wine. When we make a fondue at home, we start by putting 2cl per person to keep the aromas of the cheese. If it is too compact, we will then add a little, little by little, to get the right texture.

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