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Help! Refrigerator FULL of shredded cheese! What now?

Due to a very well meaning mother-in-law I have a fridge AND freezer stuffed to the brink with shredded cheese. Mostly of the cheddar or mozzarella variety. What recipes do you recommend (& enjoy) that require a lot of cheese? Thanks everyone!

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  1. Oh, if only I were in your shoes! You can use cheese in so many things. Enchiladas, pizza, potatoes au gratin, pasta, pasta salad, tacos, nacho's, fondue, cheddar cheese soup, french onion soup. So many uses. Lucky you!

    1. Cheesy eggs (stirred into scrambled eggs, folded into omelets, etc.) Cheesy grits. Twice baked potatoes. Grilled cheese. Quesadillas.

      1. - Baked or deep fried jalapeno poppers. Don't be afraid, the monster 'TAM' variety commonly found are pretty mild after removing the pith and seeds.
        - Metabolism permitting, try some old-school casseroles with fresh ingredients (no canned soup).
        - Just remembered that small mounds of cheese crisped in the oven on a silpat or sheet tray makes a tasty and fattening snack :-).

        1 Reply
        1. re: DiveFan

          Love the "cheese blobs" as we call them (the oven mounds). Use any combo of cheese and spices. Yum! I do mine on parchment. Made the mistake of doing them on foil once - never again. Could not get them off!

        2. you could try Paula Deen's crustless spinach quiche: http://www.foodnetwork.com/recipes/pa...

          Or use this technique, use a non stick pan or spray to do this as a bowl, or just as snack crackers. Works with cheddar and other cheeses, too:

          http://notecook.com/salads/how-to-mak...

          1. Quiche immediately comes to mind - spinach, cheddar, & bacon is a great combo. Of course, a rich mac & cheese and a tray of cheese-covered stuffed shells will use up some cheese. For a different approach, some leftover mashed potato spread on a pizza crust & then topped with cheese, bacon, & sour cream is great. I don't have a recipe, but I've seen cheddar (or cheddar & beer) soup - I'd imagine that uses a lot of cheese.

            1. souffle
              savory waffles
              cheddar on apple pie
              bonnie's buffalo chicken dip
              strata
              popovers/biscuits
              wtih crepes
              on polenta cakes
              ...

              1 Reply
              1. re: Emme

                I routinely add a lot of cheese to polenta (plus a pinch of hot chili pepper) then fry it in slices like fried mush.

              2. Queso fundido makes a great fast dinner with some super fresh corn tortillas and a big salad. Not entirely authentic with mozzarella, but who cares given your situation. Will still be delicious.

                1 Reply
                1. re: eight_inch_pestle

                  I was going to suggest some foudue-y kind of thing. Not the traditional cheese selection, but would still be good!

                2. Nachos, mac n' cheese, baked ziti, cheesy rice, quesadillas, cheese soup (potatoes, leeks....), gougeres, pizza...

                  1. Most of the breakfast casserole recipes I use call for a half pound of shredded cheese - usually cheddar. Uses lots of cheese, day old bread, eggs, sausage or diced ham, etc.

                    1 Reply
                    1. re: Milt

                      You made me think of a recipe I used to make alot, adapted from The Brooklyn Cookbook. Brown 1 lb Italian sausage links in olive oil, remove and cut up. Saute 2 chopped onions and plenty of garlic, add sausage back and add 1 head chopped cabbage. Add 1 can tomato paste and saute, then add some chicken stock and a can of whole tomatoes squished up with your hands. Season to taste. Cover the pot and cook until the cabbage is done. Remove from heat and add 1 lb mozzarella or more plus parmesan to taste Serve with bread for dipping or mix with 1 lb. short pasta. Everybody likes it. Cheap and good.

                    2. frico: http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/6727...
                      Use them on salad instead of croutons, to accompany soup, or as an hors d'oeuvres or snack.

                      1. Make quesedillas.
                        Do a good pulled meat, either pulled pork or chicken, warm up the tortillas in the oven with cheese on, add the meat, fold together, and bake untill crispy.

                        1. Broccoli cheese soup! It's the perfect time of year for it:-) Also, I sometimes use shredded mozzarella to make a grilled cheese sandwich on good Italian bread. I like to add any combination of the following: arugula, spinach, pesto, roasted red peppers.

                          5 Replies
                          1. re: arp29

                            Piggybacking on your cheesy soup idea, I LOVE beer cheese soup a.k.a cheddar 'n ale here in my hometown. In fact, I was craving it earlier today. I had it first in West Palm Beach about 15 years ago at the 391st Bomb Group Restaurant. I thought I found the recipe here (what a score that would be), but sadly, I see no recipe. If anyone has that precise recipe and wants to share, this kat would be grateful. Thanks!
                            http://articles.sun-sentinel.com/1996...

                            Meantime, this WISCONSIN NATIVE'S BEER CHEESE SOUP sounds right, but WTH is popcorn doing in there as garnish? ;) Calls for SIX CUPS O'CHEDDAR, though, so that oughta put a dent in your supply. WOOHOO!
                            http://allrecipes.com//Recipe/wiscons...

                            1. re: kattyeyes

                              It's there. On page 2 of the article. Awesome soup. I substituted cheddar for the Velveeta. Very thick but oh so good.

                                1. re: Brewmaster

                                  Four years later (and 20 years after I had it for the first time), I strolled Memory Lane last night and made the soup. I was about to follow the recipe to the letter until I realized the chicken bouillon had MSG. I would try it again with non-MSG bouillon, but what I riffed was really excellent! I added:
                                  more hot sauce
                                  1 tablespoon coarse ground mustard
                                  4 cups whole milk, 2 cups chicken stock instead of 6 cups of milk and 6 bouillon cubes
                                  *YEAH, I used Velveeta!*

                                  Didn't use a double boiler or a thermometer. Cubed Velveeta magically melts into warm liquid like nobody's business. I did strain out the bacon and onions. The bacon gets all mushy in the soup, so it's more than OK to get rid of it.

                                  I did top with (new to me) buffalo cheddar Smartfood. And I think it tasted even better the next day. Beer cheese soup, it's what's for breakfast. :) HOO-AHHH!

                                   
                                2. re: kattyeyes

                                  Your post reminds me, pile shredded cheese high on a bowl of chili.

                              1. Thanks to everyone for the suggestions! I've got some real plans for this cheese now. Some which would never have crossed my mind. Broccoli cheese soup, the queso, crackers! All things we enjoy but for some reason I never would have thought to make them myself.

                                We've already made a frittata (cheddar, spinach, bacon), homemade crackers, baked ziti. I'd like to try macaroni & cheese, which I did try once before, but that time could lovely be referred to as.. well, an epic fail.

                                6 Replies
                                1. re: smallfinds

                                  Uh oh, did you use a bechamel based mac and cheese recipe? There are much easier, and IMHO, more successful stovetop or casserole type recipes out there. If you'd like some ideas, let us know which style of mac and cheese you prefer. We won't lead you astray. There's no reason for your "epic fail" to turn into fear of mac and cheese!

                                  1. re: amyzan

                                    I did! What would you recommend instead? I even gave in a tried again tonight with a different recipes, trying to make it specifically with my 10 month old in mind (keeping it simple), with rather poor (and unreceptive on behalf of the baby) results. It was gritty, I used cheddar but after looking online I think the problem was the roux and the milk not being heated beforehand? I really don't know what I'm talking about but would love to be able to make some good mac and cheese.

                                    1. re: smallfinds

                                      if you still find yourself with lots of cheese left after your experimenting, invite some friends over for a casual dinner and set up a grilled cheese or baked potato bar!

                                      1. re: smallfinds

                                        Sorry it's taken me this long to get back to you, sick cat and birthday going on this past weekend. Quite a combo! Anyway, the thread linked below by aching is a good one. From that thread, I've tried the NYT Creamy and the Alton Brown recipe, both of which I liked. But, my favorite recipe by far is Cook's Illustrated Stovetop, although I don't use all sharp cheddar: http://www.astray.com/recipes/?show=C... I'm more likely to use a combo of cheeses, usually something like cheddar and jack or even fontina. The stovetop recipes make a style similar to what you get with boxed mac and cheese, which appeals to kids, but the flavor is sooo much better for us adults. So, it's a win/win. Bechamel based recipes are fine, but they don't reheat well, and can be tricky if a cook isn't familiar with sauces. Plus, I just prefer mac and cheese that doesn't have to be baked.

                                        1. re: smallfinds

                                          I've had bad fails using pre-shredded cheese in bechamel-based sauces for m&c, due to the anti-clumping agents added by the manufacturer. Pre-shredded cheese works fine in a sauce with evaporated milk and eggs - this is the one I like: http://www.marthastewart.com/331828/e... (omit bacon, mix and match cheeses to 2.5 C total).

                                      2. This might be a better reply for the "nostalgic food" or "retro recipes" threads, but my Mom used to make this casserole when we were kids that I love to this day but rarely make because her recipe called for a whopping 2 LBS of cheese! I make it with half that much and sub in some reduced fat cheese and fat-free milk, but if you wanted to go "full strength," the recipe for Chile Relleno Casserole is:
                                        1 lb jack cheese
                                        1 lb cheddar cheese
                                        2 small cans whole green chiles
                                        1 can (12 - 14 oz) chilled, whipped evaporated milk
                                        2 eggs
                                        1/2 cup all-purpose flour

                                        Oven 350°. Drain/rinse/de-seed chiles. Grate cheeses and combine. Spray 9 x 13 casserole dish. Cover bottom of dish with a layer of peppers. Sprinkle a layer of cheese on top. Layer remaining peppers and remaining cheese. Add eggs to whipped milk, whisk in flour and pour mixture over top of pepper/cheese layers. Bake for 30 minutes. Serve with one or all: salsa, sour cream, cilantro, black olives.

                                        I've added grilled chicken and corn to this and subbed fresh chiles when my garden was cooperating (roast them first), and tried some other variations to use fridge/freezer stashes. It's a very forgiving recipe and seems to go over well with my family (thanks, Mom!). Who could not love something that cheesy/gooey?

                                        2 Replies
                                        1. re: CapreseStacy

                                          Oh, I was going to post something similar that my mom used to make that we called Chili Brunch! It was very similar to your recipe, except that there was cottage cheese instead of the evaporated milk, and a lot more eggs. I still make it sometimes. I'll look around and see if I can find the recipe...

                                          1. re: aching

                                            Here it is!

                                            CHILE BRUNCH

                                            10 eggs
                                            ½ cup flour
                                            1 t. baking powder
                                            1 pint cottage cheese
                                            2 cups Cheddar cheese, shredded
                                            ½ cup butter, melted and cooled
                                            8 oz. diced green chiles, drained

                                            • Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
                                            • In a large bowl, beat eggs until light.
                                            • Add flour, baking powder, cottage cheese, Cheddar, and butter. Mix until smooth.
                                            • Stir in chiles.
                                            • Pour mixture into a greased 9x13 pan.
                                            • Bake for 35 minutes or top is browned and center appears firm.
                                            • Cut in squares and serve warm.

                                            Makes 8 servings.

                                            The butter can be reduced or eliminated altogether, and the cheese and/or chiles can be increased.

                                        2. Cheddar corn chowder
                                          Broccoli cheddar chowder
                                          Souffle

                                          1 Reply
                                          1. re: monavano

                                            Plus one on soufflé
                                            Make a bunch of cheese pizzas for the teenagers or gradeschoolers you know
                                            Au gratin potatoes, broccoli, cauliflower
                                            Macaroni & cheese, natch
                                            Cheese soup
                                            Omelets, frittatas

                                          2. Just a heads up to the latest posters: this thread is 4 yrs old, so the OP's problem is moot.

                                            1 Reply
                                            1. re: greygarious

                                              But still a resource for those looking for ideas on what to do with a ton of cheese....,

                                            2. But still an interesting discussion.

                                              1 Reply
                                              1. re: Brewmaster

                                                Damn straight! Four years later, you kindly pointed out the recipe I was looking for was on the second page of the link I had. :) Very interesting--and helpful--indeed. All my friends up here would mock me for saying "beer cheese soup," (a local restaurant here calls it "cheddar 'n ale") but that's how I had it first. I even have a pic of me next to a jeep outside the 391st. Thanks for reviving this thread and sharing what I missed.

                                              2. Make cheese sauce to freeze as it is so versatile and useful. For one recipe: melt 1 stick of butter, stir in 1/2 cup flour, add salt to taste, stir in gradually 1 quart milk. When this has turned into white sauce aka cream sauce, add an envelope of shredded cheddar cheese. Don't ever let it quite boil though. Freeze this in 8-oz margarine tubs and have it ready to use with cooked broccoli, cauliflower, cabbage, potatoes, onions, or any vegetable to make an au gratin. Also use to make Hot Browns. Or for macaroni & cheese. Or anything.