Monday, November 30, 2015

Turning shredded cheese into "slices" for topping burgers, making grilled sandwiches


Shredded cheese is almost always more economical than loaf or sliced cheese, for me. And it's very convenient for adding to pizzas, or making cheese sauces, or topping casseroles.

But not so convenient for topping burgers or sliding between bread for grilled sandwiches. However, there's a simple trick to turning the shredded into "slices".


Remove the turntable from your microwave, and place a sheet of parchment paper on it. (Dollar Tree now sells parchment paper.)


Make neat piles of shredded cheese, about 3 inches in diameter, on the parchment, using about 1/3 cup of cheese per pile.


Place the turntable/parchment/cheese into the microwave. Microwave on full power in 10 second increments, until cheese is nearly all melted, watching closely (just under 30 seconds for my microwave and 4 piles of cheese).


Chill turntable/parchment/cheese in the fridge for 30 minutes. Then peel the "slices" off of the parchment.

The parchment paper can then be rolled up and stored in a large ziploc in the freezer, and reused many times for this.

These "slices" melt nicely on burgers and in sandwiches.

18 comments:

  1. You never cease to amaze me with the details of the things you do. Once again, your family is very lucky to have you as well as the rest of your blogging world. However, I just sprinkle cheese on top of whatever when it's warm, including hamburgers and it melts fast enough that its not messy to eat. But you know me, whatever I can do to take short cuts in the kitchen, I will. As for sliced cheese for cold sandwiches, we eat very few of those so we don't really worry about buying an occasional package of sliced cheese on sale. I am luck to live near an Aldi's that has very good prices.

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    1. Hi live and learn,
      I do wish we had something like Aldi here. This past week, loaf cheese was on sale for $2.75/lb, and that's considered a good price, now. Whereas I can still get shredded cheese for just under $2.10/lb.

      These patties of cheese were very handy the night of my son's birthday. He chose cheeseburgers for dinner. Yum!

      Have a great day!

      Delete
  2. And here's another idea for storing previous used parchment paper. Ready...just wipe it clean, let it dry, then roll it up and slide it into a toilet paper cardboard roll. You can roll 4 or more sheets altogether and slide it right into the cardboard roll. I often use 4 sheets of parchment paper for baking cookies. I do two cookie sheets at a time and prepare the next two sheets while the first two are baking. It is worth it to me to get the baking done quickly and I can use my parchment paper over and over again! If you want a stronger cardboard roll, I think I have Christmas wrap cardboard that I cut into approx. 8 inch pieces and you could cut them as long or as short as you want them!

    Sorry, that wasn't about cheese at all.

    Alice

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    1. Hi Alice,
      oh great idea for storing the parchment, and getting cookies in and out of the oven quickly! I'll do that. The cardboard tubes inside of wraps (plastic, foil, waxed paper) would also be a good size.

      Great tips, Alice! have a great day!

      Delete
  3. Hmm...never thought of that...good idea! I know some people make a gluten-free/low carb "cracker" by baking cheese like this in rounds till crispy. If we only have shredded, we just sprinkle it on anyway. Lately, block cheese has been cheaper, though, so we have the opposite issue of needing to shred it for lots of things. I have been through several food processors (supposedly good ones) who do not hold up well to shredding large amounts of cheese, so we've given up and bought a good quality box grater.

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    Replies
    1. Hi Cat,
      Oooh, wouldn't want to burn out food processors on cheese. Smart move to just buy a quality box grater. Fortunately, for now, you do have some "free" labor in the house to do some of the grating!

      Have a great day, Cat!

      Delete
  4. Terrific idea! My daughter does not like shredded cheese on her hamburgers, so this idea would work great for that. I like the idea of rolling the parchment paper up and putting it into a paper towel roll. That is a great tip to save money. I've been buying whatever cheese is the cheapest for me. Usually depends on the store I'm at...Sam's Club is the cheapest but I don't shop there much. Maybe twice a year.

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    1. Hi Belinda,
      Some years, there are great loss leader sales on cheese, in fall. This year, those sales haven't been as good. Our Cash & Carry has had the best price on cheese, if bought in shredded form. Probably similar to Sam's Club and Costco in price.

      Yeah, isn't Alice's idea for storing the parchment a good one?!! I'll be using that for sure, now that I have a store that sells parchment inexpensively.

      Have a great day, Belinda!

      Delete
  5. Very clever idea, Lili! I'm one who sprinkles it on things if I don't have slices, but this is a great alternative to that.
    Mary

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    1. Thanks, Mary!
      I agree, sprinkling is the simpler option. I just find myself annoyed with myself, when I drop bits of cheese on the grill instead of the burger.

      Have a great day, Mary!

      Delete
  6. Interesting that's it's cheaper for you to buy shredded cheese. I can get block cheese more inexpensively. Different geographical areas have varying practices, I guess! Lately Aldi has had 16 oz of sharp cheddar for $1.49 for the block. I notice it's more crumbly than cheese I've purchased there in the past, but we still eat it!

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    1. Hi Kris,
      It could be that the shredded is cheaper for me because I buy it in the large warehouse-size packages (5 lbs each), as opposed to buying in the grocery store in 8-oz bags. But wow! Your price on 1-lb of cheddar is unbelievable compared to what I'm currently paying! I love sharp cheddar! Love the flavor, and I can get by with using less because of the more intense taste.

      Have a great day, Kris!

      Delete
  7. Count me as a shredded cheese sprinkler too lol...but I do understand why you would want to shape the loose shreds into patties ahead of making certain dishes where sprinkling gets messy, and saves money over having to buy sliced for a few cheeseburgers or grilled cheese sandwiches. Good tip to remember! I usually have to top with cheese only one patty or bread slice for me so I would probably just continue to sprinkle shredded cheese straight from the freezer. I like using less in amount than one ounce sliced weight, and I agree that sharp cheddar has so much flavor that less can be used...my observation as well.

    YHF

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    1. Hi YHF,
      If I were just doing one sandwich or burger at a time, I'd think I could accept some messiness/loss of cheese shreds better. Or I could take my time in getting it all on the bread/bun.

      When I'm doing grilled cheese sandwiches for the family on the cast iron griddle, it's quite a mess. And it means I have to wash the griddle afterward. (I don't wash my cast iron griddle, ever. I give it a quick rinse just before using, to remove dust, then the heat on the stove-top dries it fast enough it doesn't rust. But I don't wash it up with soap or even water right after cooking with it. Prevents rust and saves time. Lazy me.)
      Have a great day YHF!

      Delete
  8. I love this idea! I actually prefer to buy cheese in the loaf, if possible (the prices are not that different here, nowhere near as good as what some of you are seeing!). But I struggle to get even sized slices when cutting off of the large loaf and could see this as being a nice option for grilled cheese. Thanks for the great idea!

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    1. Hi Laura,
      Oh I know what you mean. It is hard to slice cheeses like cheddar into nice uniform slices!

      Delete

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