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Fun ways to put Hot Cheese on your menu

It’s hard to imagine anything quite as cosy and comforting as chowing down on a gooey melted cheese toastie in the depths of winter – actually, at any time of year. There’s something about cheese that makes everything feel better, and the colder months call for warm, soothing cheese that’s been warmed to mouth-watering perfection.
Melting Mastery

Not all cheese melts equally. Cheese with a higher moisture content and a lower pH level tends to melt more easily, while harder, drier cheeses require more heat to melt. Think about what cheese to use for what; a light, smooth cheese like the Kapiti Gouda range melts beautifully in pastas and omelettes, while the Kōwhai Gruyère is delicious as a fondue cheese. The soft texture of a rich blue cheese means it will melt quickly, especially on top of red meat such as a steak or burger. Washed rind cheeses make an easy centrepiece starter or cocktail option.


Top Cheese Melting Tips

• Allow cheese to come to room temperature before cooking. This makes it easier to slice.

• Use a non-stick pan or parchment-lined baking dish to prevent sticking.

• Always melt cheese on a low heat, or in small increments if melting in the microwave.


Sorting your cheese

The best place to store cheeses is in the vegetable compartment or lower shelves of the fridge, where the temperature is more cold and stable. Where possible, wrap the cheeses in their original packaging, or in paper, and store in a cheese bag. This allows the cheeses to breathe and develop without drying out. If storing in a zip lock bag, wrap the cheese in parchment or baking paper first.


Try these fun and interesting ways to put “hot cheese” on the menu.

MELTING CHEESE TOASTIES

This is a great way to use up leftovers and can be prepped and just toasted to order. Nothing beats an aged cheddar, pastrami & pickle combo.


WARM, CHEESY DIPS MAKE QUICK AND EASY SPECIALS ON THE MENU

Flavoured cheeses, like cumin seed Gouda makes a divine dip, but you can also use a variety of smaller quantities of cheese together: just add herbs, spices or pickles like jalapeño and chillies to liven things up.


A GREAT SPECIAL EVENT OR SHARE TABLE OPTION IS THE PERENNIALLY POPULAR RETRO CHEESE FONDUE

It’s economical, is an easy way to use up excess bread, vegetables and European meats. Always use a full-bodied cheese: a rich Kikorangi Blue, Nutty Taleggio, smooth Gruyère, smoky Havarti or sweet Gouda all make for a successful fondue. Give your fondue a twist by including a mix of cheeses, and adding some zing into the mix with chilli flakes or a touch of your favourite spice.


BAKED BRIE OR SOFT CHEESE LOOKS IMPRESSIVE AND TAKES A BASIC CHEESE TO THE NEXT LEVEL

Try topping with dried fruits, nuts, seeds, and drizzle with honey or a savoury version of garlic, chilli, herbs and spices etc. We baked ours in a vine leaf but individual mini pans or ramekins work well.


TOP TIP

Fruit pairings really bring out the flavour of cheese. Add red grapes, figs and fruit chutneys to the table when serving hot cheese for a match made in heaven.



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