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Dec 16, 2008 05:34 PM

Substitute Havarti cheese for muenster?

I knew I shouldn't go to the store with out the recipe! I am making lots of macaroni and cheese casseroles for our shelter folks. The recipe calls for several different chesses including mozzerella, marscapone, cheddar, jack and muenster in a white sauce. I bought Havarti by mistake. Do you think it makes any difference? I'm really not that familiar with either Havarti or Muenster to be honest. (I'm sure the kids would prefer I open up a box of Kraft mac and cheese!)

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  1. Really, I think that the Harvarti is not an issue at all. If anything it will add a nice flavor to your already overloaded cheese sauce and the Mac & Cheese will be delicious. The Mascarpone and Mozzarella are virtually flavourless.

    1 Reply
    1. re: Gio

      Agreed - for future reference, fontina is a good melting cheese for inclusion in a cheddar mix for M&C.

    2. I presume the recipe you're using calls for American muenster, in which case Havarti is a perfectly good substitute -- they're both mild-ish white cheeses. European muenster is a pungent, gooey cheese, very different. I can't imagine using it in macaroni and cheese.

      1. By subbing havarti for muenster you will lose a little bit of sharpness, but mostly you will lose the stringiness that some people like in melted cheese. Either way it should be fine and I'm certain the shelter folks will appreciate it. If you'd like to make up for the sharpness, add a dash of mustard powder to your cheese sauce.

        2 Replies
        1. re: JungMann

          Ooooohhhh... mustard powder. What a super idea. I think the mozzarella will, when melted, be stringy so that takes care of that issue too.

          1. re: JungMann

            Probably too late for the OP but I like to mix the mustard powder in a little water first and then add it so it mixes well. It can clump sometimes.

          2. Both highly processed, and melting ability about the same. Flavor difference minimal when melted so, add mustard, red pepper flakes. Mascarpone is essentially cream so you are adding a LOT of fat. Think about making a bechemel and add strong cheeses to taste, as old cheddar, mimmolette, and dry italians, like pecorino romano, and/or parmigiano reggiano.

            9 Replies
            1. re: Delucacheesemonger

              Thanks for all your suggestions...the recipe remains suspect to me as it calls for skim milk and (yuck!) evaporated milk for the cream sauce and them reduced fat cheeses except for the chedder and the mozzerella. It's a small amount of marscapone, but whoever invented this recipe has a love /hate relationship with fat. Anyway, I'm certain the folks in the shelter will be fine with full fat cheese. I most concerned about the children liking it. I will definitely add the dry mustard, and some parmesan also. Thanks for your help! do you think I should use elbow macaroni or penne or ziti type pasta?

              1. re: donali

                Others will no doubt have their own opinions, but I say go for a "heftier" pasta.... Penne or Ziti. Are you serving a salad as well?

                1. re: Gio

                  Yes. a whole meal, carrot cranberry salad, steamed broccoli and gingerbread.

                  1. re: donali

                    That menu sounds lovely. What a nice thing you're doing... the true meaning of the season. Good Luck, and I hope everything goes well for you!

                  1. re: donali

                    Sounds like a cheater's version of mac-n-cheese, but in my experience, evaporated milk subs well for full-fat cream. You still get the rich mouthfeel and flavor, but without the fat.

                    1. re: donali

                      donali, what is "yuck" about evaporated milk?

                      1. re: alkapal

                        I think yuck" more with skim milk than evaporated. It makes no sense when you're using all that cheese to skimp on skim milk. But, if the OP hates evaporated milk, using a mix of sour cream and whole milk works great in mac and cheese.

                        1. re: chowser

                          sounds like it was supposed to be reduced fat all around (with a wee bit of mascarpone).

                  2. Imported Danish Havarti and Alsatian Muenster should not be interchangable
                    Domestic might

                    1 Reply
                    1. re: Peter B Wolf

                      Quite sure Alsatian muenster is not what OP was speaking about, but the processed Muenster sold in supermarkets.