Cashew Cheddar Cheese
Header notes from Ann Gentry: This cheese is great for shredding or melting. Cashews work better than other nuts because they blend into such a creamy, rich consistency. If you're not satisfied with the cheese's final consistency or texture, blame the agar flakes; all store-bought brands of agar flakes are cut differently, which unfortunately affect's the amount added if measured by volume. If you'd rather not; learn the hard way as I did, go by the provided weight; rather than cup measure.
1 1/4 cups raw cashews
1/2 cup nutrirional yeast
2 teaspoons onion powder
2 teaspoons sea salt
1 teaspoon garlic powder
1/8 teaspoon ground white pepper
3 1/2 cups unsweetened plain soymilk
I cup agar flakes (about 2 ounces)
1/2 cup canola oil (heidi note: I don't like canola - used a mild tasting olive oil)
1/4 cup yellow miso
2 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice (about I lemon)
Using the pulse button, finely grind the cashews in a food processor; don't allow the cashews to turn into a paste. Add the nutritional yeast, onion powder, salt, garlic powder, and white pepper. Pulse three more times to blend in the spices.
Combine the soymilk, agar, and oil in a heavy saucepan. Bring to a simmer over high heat. Decrease the heat to medium-low, cover, and simmer, stirring occasionally, for 10 minutes, or until the agar is dissolved. With the food processor running, gradually pour the soymilk mixture through the feed tube and into the cashew mixture. Blend for 2 minutes, or until very smooth and creamy, and then blend in the miso and lemon juice.
For grated or sliced cheese, transfer the cheese to a container, cover, and refrigerate about 4 hours, until very firm. Once it's firm, grate or slice the cheese as desired.
For melted cheese, use the cheese immediately as melted cheese. Alternatively, make the cheese in advance, cover, and refrigerate. When you're ready to use the cheese, melt it in a saucepan over medium heat until smooth and creamy, stirring frequently. If needed, add more soymilk for a thinner consistency.
For Jalapeno Cashew Cheddar Cheese: Stir 2 tablespoons of minced jalapeno chiles into 2 cups of melted cheese. The cheese will keep for 4 days, covered and refrigerated
Make 4 cups.
I didn't make the dish but I did make the cashew cheddar cheese for an eggplant parm dish and omgyum. The agar is quite pricey though (where I got it, it was $69 per lb) so I cut the recipe in half and it still made a huge amount.
seriously hands down, one of the best vegan cheeses out there. It didn't have the same texture but it did taste like cheese a bit but not in a gross filmy way. But in a good, compliments with a lot of different tastes, kind of way. This recipe is for someone who is up for a culinary adventure and looking for an alternative to all that heavily processed vegan cheeses on the market.
this nut cheese comes highly recommended !!