Classic White Uncheese
Yield:: 1¼ cups (10 ounces)
 
Use this versatile, all-purpose "uncheese " to lend a rich, dairy-free, cheesy flavor to any recipe. Grate it with a gentle touch to use on pizza , slice it to use as a sandwich filling, cube it and let it melt into dairy- free cream sauces or sou ps, or add it to casseroles.
"Uncheeses" do not have the stretch that melted dairy cheeses do as this is obtained only by using casein, the protein in cows' milk. However, uncheeses will get soft, melty, and gooey when heated and will brown nicely when broiled (so watch closely!). Although homemade uncheeses are not aged or cured, a tangy, sharp flavor is impart­ ed by using a small amount of light miso. Wherever you would typically use dairy cheese, you can use this delightful nondairy replacement.
Ingredients
  • ¼ pound reduced-fat regular tofu (firm), rinsed, patted dry, and crumbled
  • 3 Tablespoons Red Star Vegetarian Support Formula nutritional yeast flakes
  • 2 to 3 Tablespoons tahini
  • 2 Tablespoons fresh lemon juice
  • 1½ Tablespoons light miso
  • 1 teaspoon onion granules
  • ¾ teaspoon salt
  • ¼ teaspoon garlic granules
  • ¾ cup water
  • 3 Tablespoons agar flakes (see The Cook's Secrets below)
Instructions
  1. Lightly oil either a 1¼-cup (10 ounce) heavy plastic storage container (rectangular or round) with a lid, a miniature bread loaf pan, a small bowl with a rounded bottom, or other small container of your choice (see The Cook's Secrets on next page), and set it aside.

  2. Place the tofu, nutritional yeast flakes, tahini, lemon juice, miso, onion granules, salt, and garlic granules in a blender or food processor fitted with a metal blade. Set aside.

  3. Place the water and agar flakes in a I -quart saucepan. Bring to a boil, then reduce the heat to medium-high, and simmer,stirring frequently, until the agar is dissolved (about 5 minutes).

  4. Pour the agar mixture into the blender or food processor containing the other ingredients.

  5. Process until the mixture is completely smooth. You will need to work quickly before the agar begins to set, but it is important to process the mixture very thoroughly. Stop the blender or food processor frequently to stir the mixture and scrape down the sides of the jar or work bowl.

  6. Pour the mixture into the prepared container (from step #1). Use a rubber spatula to remove all of the blended mixture. Place the open container in the refrigerator to let the uncheese firm up. When it is firm and no longer warm to the touch, cover the container with the lid or plastic wrap. Let the uncheese chill for several hours before serving. It will keep for about 10 days in the refrigerator.

  7. American-Style Uncheese:
  8. Blend in ¼ cup (2 ounces) drained pimiento pieces, processing until no flecks from the pimientos are visible. This will make a naturally orange-col­ored uncheese.

  9. Hot Pepper Uncheese:
  10. Stir in 4 tablespoons finely chopped and well-drained canned chilies or ¼ to ½ teaspoon crushed hot red pepper flakes into the blended mixture before pouring it into the mold.

  11. Olive Uncheese:
  12. Stir in ¼ cup sliced, pimiento-stuffed green olives or sliced black olives into the blended mixture before pouring it into the mold.

  13. Dilled Uncheese:
  14. Stir in 1 teaspoon dried dill weed into the blended mixture before pouring it into the mold.

  15. Mexican Style Uncheese:
  16. Blend in 1 teaspo on chili powder, ½ teaspoon dried oregano leaves, and 1 clove garlic, minced or pressed.

  17. Italian-Style Uncheese:
  18. Blend in ½ teaspoon dried basil leaves, ¼ teaspoon dried oregano leaves, ¼ teaspoon dried marjoram leaves, and 1 clove garlic, minced or pressed.

  19. French-Style Uncheese:
  20. Blend in 1 teaspoon dried basil leaves, ½ teaspoon dried thyme leaves, ¼ teaspoon dried marjoram leaves, ¼ teaspoo n ground black pep­ per, pinch of ground rosemary, and 1 clove garlic, minced or pressed.

  21. Smoky Uncheese:
  22. Blend in ¼ teaspoon liquid hickory smoke, or more to taste.

  23. The Cook's Secrets:

  24. Agar, also known as agar-agar and kanten, is an odorless, tasteless sea vegetable. It is a natural thickener and an excellent substitute for gelatin, which is a slaughterhouse by-product. Agar is available in three forms: sticks, flakes, and powder. The flakes tend to provide the most consistent results and are the only form I recommend. Agar can be found in the macrobiotic section of natural food stores or it can be ordered through mail order sources which sell macrobiotic products. Store agar in an airtight container at room temperature. It will keep indefinitely.

  25. If desired, other containers of varying shapes may used to mold the uncheese. Select a con­tainer with straight sides or edges that fan out at the opening in order to easily remove the uncheese. For a domed uncheese, use a round-bottomed bowl. For a cylinder-shaped uncheese, use an insulated plastic hot beverage container with smooth, straight sides. Small molds designed for jelled desserts are also a good choice.
Nutrition Information
Serving size: 2 Tbsp Calories: 50 Fat: 3 gm Carbohydrates: 4 gm Protein: 3 gm
 

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