Do you ever balk at the prices of those processed loaves of cheese? Do you buy them anyway, because sometimes a recipe (or a grilled cheese) demands their melty goodness and no substitute will do? This happens to me every time I purchase that cheese. Even worse, every time in the back of my mind is a nagging reminder of all the preservatives and other things in them that I should try to avoid feeding my family. So, finally I decided that somebody, somewhere, in an effort to be more frugal or in an effort to avoid all the chemicals, must have found a way to replicate this ooey, gooey cheese and would have shared their victorious recipe. After perusing Pinterest and the web for what seemed like forever, I finally found what appeared to be a winner. My boys had asked to have BLT Mac N Cheese this week and were afraid with my new REAL cheese that it wouldn’t live up to their high standards. They couldn’t have been more shocked themselves to discover this cheese made it even better. This recipe knocked the ball out of the park! It was spot on everything I was looking for and then some. It’s real food you can make at home quickly, with ingredients you can easily find (and pronounce), without sacrificing any of that heavenly meltiness. National Grilled Cheese Day (April 12th) just passed, but I will definitely be celebrating next year with the help of my own homemade cheese.
‘Velveeta’ Style American Cheese
- 1 tbsp water
- 1 1/2 tsp powdered gelatin
- 12 oz Colby Jack cheese, very finely shredded (think TINY grater holes)
- 1 tbsp nonfat milk powder
- generous 1/2 tsp salt
- 1/8 tsp cream of tartar
- 1/2 cup plus 2 tbsp 2% milk
- Line a small 4×5 loaf pan (I only had a full size pan handy) with plastic wrap, letting the excess hang over the sides.
- In a small bowl, combine the water and gelatin. Stir. Let sit for 5 minutes.
- Combine cheese, milk powder, salt, and tartar in the bowl of a food processor, pulsing a few times to combine.
- Heat milk in a small saucepan over medium heat.
- When milk begins to simmer, remove from heat, transfer hot milk to a measuring cup (to make pouring easier) and slowly add milk into the food processor feed tube.
- As you slowly add the milk, pulse the food processor.
- Add prepared gelatin.
- Turn the food processor on, and continue to stir until the mixture becomes perfectly smooth. Scrap the sides if needed and whir again.
- Working quickly, transfer the mixture into the prepared mold, pressing the mixture down into the pan with a spatula to help eliminate any air bubbles.
- Smooth surface of cheese, and cover with the overlapping plastic.
- Chill in the refrigerator for at least 3 hours, or overnight. (If pressed for time, a little over an hour and a half in the freezer will work too!)
- Slice, cube, or melt as needed and use as you would Velveeta or individually wrapped processed American cheese.