I’ve been Tweeting recently a lot about the love that dare not say its name: liquid cheese. I love liquid cheese. I’m not really ashamed of it, because I’ve always said if it tastes good, eat it. And to me, a jar of Tostitos salsa con queso along with a bag of Tostitos hint of lime chips… tastes really good. (This isn’t even a sponsored post… I just really like their products.) A night in with a DVD or just some TV, chips and dip, I’m happy.
But… as much as I like it, I know that it’s not that good for me. Real cheese isn’t meant to stay liquid when chilled. The chemicals… not so good. So I set out to see how hard it would be to make my own liquid cheese, and tagged Beer Boor along for the ride.
First, though, we ate some of the processed stuff. Tostitos twist of lime with Tostitos salsa con queso, some regular salsa and some sour cream. Yum – these were tasty as expected. We finished the plate pretty quickly.
Then I put him to work. Long ago we’d discovered that making our own tortilla chips was really simple – slice up corn tortillas into triangles, then deep fry for 2 minutes, drain and salt. Since then, I’ve rarely gone very long without having fresh tortilla chips at my fingertips (thanks Beer Boor!), and they are delicious but super easy (with the aid of our trust deep fryer, that is). In the meantime, I chopped up some plum tomatoes, cilantro, and shallots, opting out of garlic or jalapenos, and mixed that all in a bowl with the juice of one very juicy lime. Added a bit of salt (forgot the pepper), and let that sit together for a few minutes.
We’d actually gone to Fairway UES on our way back from the game, where we picked up the tomatoes, cilantro, limes for reasonable prices. But we also picked up the cheeses – so I chose a pepperjack and then a really interesting cheese that I wound up loving and had to force myself not to eat all plain before I could use it for my homemade liquid cheese: a jalapeno peppadew cheddar that was super tasty on its own, but mixed into my sauce… omg.
Basically… melt butter in the bottom of a pan. When it gets a little foamy, add a bit of flour. Go easy on the flour (I used a 1:1 ratio, was too much and I’d go lighter next time). Cook it for a little bit, then add heavy cream and/or whole milk till you’ve got a little less liquid than you want as a result; let come to a small bubble. Add chopped/grated/cubed cheese, and stir to combine. (I was really lazy and just cut off bits of the cheeses until it looked about right; if you grate it, it’ll melt faster.)
That really took all of 5 or 10 minutes on the outside, and the end result? It was delicious. You can use any combination of cheese you want, too; you can even use cheddar and add your own fresh jalapenos or any type of pepper you like. Super freakin’ easy.
So I guess I won’t be buying liquid cheese any more (and I know I make it sound like I always have some in the fridge, but that’s simply not true! I only buy it every once in a blue moon, bad day, having company, whatever the case may be, honest)… it’s just too easy to make your own quickly, deliciously, and less or no preservatives (please use a good cheese, not a processed one, or you defeat the whole purpose of my experiment). You don’t have to make your own chips – I just did that for kicks and because I know that’s also super easy (especially when you have Beer Boor around who will deep fry just about anything you hand him!).