Start with Cheese

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My Favorite Grilled Cheese Sandwich. Linda Larsen

Cheese is one of the basic ingredients of most cooking. Unless you're a vegan or allergic to milk (or lactose intolerant) you probably love cheese! Cheese all by itself can be a meal; just add some wonderful bread and a glass of wine.

The easiest recipes using cheese call for the cheese to be melted, then combined with other ingredients. To melt cheese, use low heat. If the temperature of melting cheese gets too high, it may separate and even burn.

The protein, or casein, in the cheese coagulates or clumps at high temperatures. So always use low to medium low heat when melting cheese. A mixture of different cheeses melts well. The best cheeses for melting are aged between three to six months.

Always look for expiration dates on cheeses and follow them to the letter. Those dates don't necessarily mean the cheese is unsafe to eat, but its quality will be diminished. Store cheeses in the refrigerator, well wrapped, so they don't absorb flavors from other foods. If your cheese develops mold, you might be able to save it. Any soft cheese with mold should be immediately discarded. But hard cheeses, such as Parmesan or Cheddar, can be saved. Just cut off the moldy area, including 1" into the cheese. Wash the knife well with soap and hot water, then trim the cheese again. Use the cheese as soon as possible.

Substitute your favorite cheese for any of the cheese called for in these recipes.

One of the wonderful things about cheese is the wide variety of textures, colors, and flavors. Take some time to browse through the cheese section at your grocery store and try unfamiliar cheeses. You may find a new favorite.

Start with Cheese

  • Easiest Cheese Quiche
    This fabulous and easy recipe for quiche is really the best. There are tons of quiche recipes out there, packed with everything from sausage to kale. But sometimes, the simplest recipes are just perfect.
  • Cheese Fondue
    Fondue is simply a mixture of wine and melted cheese. (For a fondue made without wine, see Mild Cheese Fondue. You can dip everything from crackers to crusty cubes of bread to apples, sausages, cheese puffs, and mini hot dogs into this luscious mixture.
  • My Favorite Grilled Cheese Sandwich
    A plain grilled cheese sandwich may seem simple to make, but there are a lot of pitfalls to avoid. This recipe is finely tuned and perfect.
  • English Muffin Grilled Cheese Sandwiches
    I love grilled cheese sandwiches. And English muffins! Put the two together for a fabulously different and perfect sammie.
  • Crockpot Mac and Cheese
    Macaroni and cheese is perhaps the most indulgent comfort food recipe ever. And this one is made in the crockpot! Yum.
  • Cheesy Quesadillas
    Any type of shredded cheese, tortillas, and some butter, plus heat, equals a super delicious and super fast snack. Serve with salsa for a nice lunch.
  • Tex Mex Cheese Soup
    This five ingredient soup recipe starts with spicy process cheese loaf. While some may say that's not cheese, this recipe will make them change their minds. It's creamy, cheesy, spicy, and delicious.
  • Grilled Cheese Bread
    Three kinds of cheese melt onto crusty French bread in this fabulous recipe. Serve it as a side in a soup course, as an appetizer, or as a snack all on its own.
  • Crockpot Cheesy Dip
    A warm and creamy cheesy dip is the perfect appetizer for a winter meal. This super simple recipe is made in your crockpot.
  • Pimento Cheese
    My version of the classic Southern recipe is so versatile. Use it as a sandwich spread, as an appetizer, or grill it between bread slices for the ultimate sandwich.
  • Mock Cheese Soufflé
    If you are afraid of making a true soufflé, this is the recipe for you. It's basically a strata that puffs up beautifully. Yum.