Over breakfast, my wife accused me of being unable to eat scrambled eggs without cheese. Rather than starting a nasty spat, I played the bigger man and conceded this one.
For starters, cheese is the perfect food. That aside, however, I don’t do simply scrambled eggs and cheese, I do ‘cheggs.’ Cheese with some egg in it.
On the morning in question, however, there were more than just eggs with cheese. I was also serving grits with cheese and toast with cream cheese.
Cheese on everything?
Hardly. The bacon was naked.
There’s an art to cooking with cheese. If you simply throw cheddar on every dish, you are going to be considered an unsophisticated rube. Ignore the haters. While this is elementary ‘cooking with cheese,’ you’re on the right track and should be proud of yourself.
You can never go wrong with cheddar on about anything. In fact, my rule of thumb is, if that dish is going into the oven, it can handle some cheddar. Including, but not limited to, apple pie!
I want you to get to know your cheeses and experiment some, so let’s cover the basic categories:
-String Cheese. What you serve your kids to make them shut up. And to start them on their way to coronary disease later in life.
-Easy Cheesy. These are easy-eating, everyday cheeses: mozzarella, Monterey Jack, etc. (Fresh moz should have its own category: cheese with no flavor, but there’s not enough time here to cover everything.) Easy cheesy is cheese that don’t stink.
-Stanky Cheese. Cheese that do stink. This includes your blue – or bleu – cheese, gorgonzola, and others, like limburger, which you may never be exposed to. Stanky cheese is my favorite category.
Hard Cheese: Parmesan
Melty Cheese. Think fondue cheeses, like Gruyere, queso, Velveeta and chocolate.
Some will say because Velveeta is ‘cheese food,’ it’s not real cheese. Cheese is food, so hush up, and let’s move on.
I do recognize that chocolate is not technically cheese, but given that milk is the number one ingredient in both cheese and chocolate, and both make outstanding fondue, I thought it deserved inclusion.
Notice how cheddar is not in any category. That’s because, depending on the age of it, cheddar can fit into almost all categories. And that’s why everything’s bettah with cheddah.
Unless you use mild cheddar, in which case you’re just being a sissy.
Now, go cut some cheese.