Ok, so that’s probably not the most appealing title for a blog post! However, if you will just hang with me, I’m going to show you how to make a homemade version of the cheese-like block that we’ve all bought to make our rotel dips, chicken spaghetti, and casseroles so ooooey and goooooey!
Why would I choose to do this??? I have a hip that bothers me a lot. I’m even seeing the chiropractor off and on to make sure the pesky thing doesn’t go rouge and gets out of place. My hubby and I prefer to do things as natural as possible. The hubs suggested that I start taking collagen to help my joints. We got some beef collagen, and I tried to take it. I put it in broth. I even tried putting some it soup. Y’all, it was SO GROSS! I can’t even tell you how gross! Imagine jello soup!
The collagen ended up setting in the pantry for a long time! I finally decided that my body needed it, and so I determined to find a yummy way to get this stuff in me!
I am a lover of most all things cheese! My husband, staff, and volunteers will verify that I eat nachos almost daily. I can’t think of a day that I go without some kind of cheese or dip! I can turn anything in to a nacho! I began to research how to make my own cheese-like block. We all know the one. The block is a yellow-orange and comes wrapped in foil. I know that the store bought version is full of chemicals, so if I can make this naturally, as well as getting this collagen to my joints… it’s a win-win!
I found a few recipes online for the cheese-like block, but I found that I tweaked them before I settled in on one that I really like. The great thing about this recipe is you can have any kind of cheese-like block you want by varying what type of cheese and seasonings you use. For this recipe, I used a mix of white cheddar and sharp cheddar shredded off the block. I don’t like using pre-shredded cheese. The pre-shredded bags are full of corn starch and preservatives that I can live without. I didn’t put any extra seasonings in this first attempt; however, I believe the next time I make it, I will add some paprika, onion powder, and cyan pepper. I’ve also included a similar recipe that I used to make a cheese spread for crackers. It taste like the squeeze cheese you can get in the cracker aisle of the big box store. I’ve been eating on that every morning since I made the original batch.
Enough of the why… Let’s talk about how! The first step is to line a mini loaf pan with plastic wrap. Let’s be honest here… You can line anything you want with plastic wrap to hold the goodness, but if you want it to resemble the cheese-like block when you’re done, use a loaf pan. The next step is to grate 3 cups of cheese. Again, I used a mix of white cheddar and sharp cheddar. Put your 3 cups of cheese in a blender, so it will be ready for the magic!
In a small pan, pour 3/4 cup whole milk, 2 tablespoons of heavy cream or half & half, 1 teaspoon of salt, and 2 teaspoons of your gelatin. Put the pan on medium heat. You’ll need to use a fork or whisk to stir the mixture as it warms. It’s important to stir so that the milk doesn’t burn on the bottom of the pan. When the liquid warms to the point that you can see steam coming off the top (NOT BOILING), you’re ready for the next step.
Just a note here… I use Himalayan pink salt. It’s SO much better for you than table salt. It’s full of minerals that your body needs. Every time you eat food with this type of salt, it’s more heart healthy than normal table salt, and it helps to restore the minerals in your body.
Turn your blender speed on low. Now take the steamy milk mixture and slowly add it to the blender through the top. Once added, replace the doo-dad that covers the top and turn your blender up to medium speed to process. If you find that the mixture isn’t coming together well, you may have to increase the speed of your blender or use a tamper.
Once the mixture is thoroughly combined, stop the mix and get a spatula to help you rake out the yummy goodness. It looks like this, by the way, when it’s done.
Now, scrape everything out, and put it in the loaf pan. Place the loaf pan in the fridge for a couple of hours for everything to firm up, and you’re done!
When you take it out and cut it up, it will look like this:
I just added some milk and rotel, and I heated it in the microwave.
Now, this doesn’t make as much as one of those big orange cheese-like blocks, so you will have to adjust your dip recipes accordingly, or you could always just make more. It will keep for at least a week in the refrigerator. Like I said earlier, next time, I’m going to add a few spices to jazz it up. Just think…. Every time you eat this, you are adding minerals to your body and doing good by your joints!
3 cups of the cheese of your choice
3/4 cup of whole milk
2 Tablespoons of heavy cream
2 teaspoons of Great Lakes unflavored gelatin
1 teaspoon Himalayan pink salt
Grate 3 cups of cheese and place the cheese in a blender. Add milk, cream, gelatin, and salt to a small sauce pan and heat on medium heat until there steam coming off the top of the mixture.
Slowly pour the liquid over the cheese through the pour spout at the top of the blender. Turn the blender on medium until combined.
Spread mixture in a plastic wrap lined loaf pan and refrigerate for 2 hours. It will remain good in the fridge for up to a week.
1 1/2 Cups Cheese
1/4 teaspoon Himalayan Pink Salt
1 teaspoon Great Lakes unflavored gelatin
1 Cup of Whole Milk
The method is exactly the same as the cheese block.