Cheese recap

I usually have a goal in mind of what I would like to make each month. This month I wanted to try to make ricotta cheese, but it’s been so hot this month. I was already looking forward to experimenting with cold dishes which is July’s food theme.

Instead of making ricotta cheese, I made this no-bake mango cheesecake with a graham cracker crust and topped it with mango gelatin. I got this recipe from the New York Times Cooking website. The cream cheese filling was very light, fluffy, and spicy (thank to the cardamom) but what I loved more than the cream cheese filling was the mango gelatin. A couple of deviations I made from the recipe was cutting the sugar in half for the cream cheese recipe and the mango gelatin. The original recipe called for unsweetened canned mango pulp and I could not locate that anywhere. I thought why am I buying something unsweetened if I am going to add sugar anyways. So that was why I decided to use half sugar for the recipe since I could only find sweetened canned mango pulp.

Other cheeses I’ve come across….

…in desserts

On the left is mamon, a Filipino sponge cake with cheese on top. This particular one I got from the bakery was very rich like it was a dessert. I was researching mamon recipes and some don’t add that much sugar and butter like this store bought version, but they do add more cheese. I think I would add as much as cheese as my heart desires.

On the right is ube cheesecake. Cream cheese can take in any flavor such as strawberry, mango (see above), and ube. Maybe it’s just me, but I still find the idea of cream cheese plus some kind of fruit kind of weird. I think it’s because I always associate with cream cheese as something to put on bagels.

Cheese snacks

From top right to left:grilled halloumi, fried mozzarella on a stick, oaxacan cheese, and cotija cheese

I enjoy eating cheese as a snack rather than a dessert. I’ve getting into halloumi which is cheese you can grill and eat as is. Halloumi does not melt like a of cheeses. I’ve seen grilled halloumi to top it on some salads or skewers with tomatoes and other vegetables. Then there’s fried mozzarella, an oldie but a goodie for me.

Two new cheeses I came across are oaxaca cheese and cotija cheese. Oaxaca cheese is a lot like mozzarella — it’s white and stringy and versatile, but it does not melt easily like mozzarella. I’ve enjoyed Oaxaca on salads or just eating it by itself. Cotija cheese is crumbly like feta. Unlike feta the taste is mild and I don’t think I’ve seen cotija cheese submerged in brine. You can use it as a garnish on a bean dip or this delicious corn salad.

Cheeses still in the package

I picked up paneer thinking I’ll make saag paneer but it’s been so hot this past month. I’ve made saag paneer a few times, but I still have not found a recipe I like. I feel as though the spice ratio is off. Maybe it’s best to buy the sag paneer spices pre-packaged for now.

I also picked up manchego cheese. I haven’t tasted it yet. I am interested in trying this fried manchego drizzled in honey recipe. Or I could have slices of it by itself and do a charcuterie style lunch box.

** Side note: My kid has been sick this past week so naturally it’s been occupying my time. I apologize for posting slower than usual. I intend to post July’s dish theme tomorrow. **

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