I am a cheesy man. There is always a piece of “Russian” or cheese in my refrigerator. But whenever I come across a variety of cheese in recipes that I don’t have, I get very upset. The cost of elite cheeses turns out to be high for the average consumer. But sometimes you really want to cook an exotic dish! Maybe replace expensive cheese with a more affordable analogue?
Today we will tell you how you can replace expensive cheese. Before you are successful replacement options and self-cooking recipes.
Of course, those with enough money to buy Parmesan, ricotta and mascarpone will find this substitute ineffective. And a gourmet who knows the taste of elite cheese very well will immediately notice the substitution. Nevertheless, dishes prepared with available counterparts are likely to be delicious and not much different from the original. So let’s experiment!
How to replace parmesan
The high cost of parmesan is due to the fact that it ripens for more than two years. And to create 5 kg of a finished product, you need 60 liters of milk! But if you are not a very picky eater, you can use the cheaper Grana Padano variety instead of the classic Parmesan. The difference is almost imperceptible.
For pizza or lasagne, Lithuanian cheese “Rokiskis” or “Dziugas”, Altai “Swiss cheese”, Ukrainian “Sour cream” are suitable. In extreme cases, any Dutch or Russian hard cheese will do.
How to replace ricotta
Ricotta is a dairy product made from whey that remains after the preparation of mozzarella. This whey is heated to a high temperature until the whey proteins begin to curl up, forming flakes. A particular type of ricotta depends on the method of processing the flakes. Ricotta has a soft texture and a sweet taste, which is why it is used for making desserts.
To make ricotta at home, you need regular kefir of 9% fat or yogurt. Place kefir in a plastic bag and freeze it. After 8-12 hours, take out the frozen bag, cut it open and place the contents in a colander lined with several layers of gauze. Place the colander in a saucepan to drain the whey.
In this form, leave to thaw at room temperature. When the whey escapes, a soft curd mass will remain in the colander, reminiscent of ricotta in taste and consistency. Gently collect the gauze into a knot and lightly squeeze the mass with your hands.
How to replace mascarpone
Mascarpone is a very fatty and high-calorie creamy cream cheese. It is called cheese conditionally, since it uses cream curdled with tartaric acid, lemon juice or wine vinegar for cooking. Mascarpone is an ideal product for preparing tiramisu and a variety of desserts. There are several ways to prepare mascarpone-like curd mass.
From cottage cheese
Mix with a mixer or blender 230 g of non-acidic fatty cottage cheese, 2 tbsp. l. sour cream and 2 tbsp. l. cream of 35% fat.
From sour cream
Take 500 g of high-quality fat sour cream, preferably homemade, add 1.5 tbsp. l. lemon juice. Stir and put the mixture on low heat. Boil the mixture, stirring constantly, for up to 5 minutes. Don’t boil! When sour cream becomes liquid, remove from heat and cool.
Throw the resulting mass in a colander, covered with a thick cotton cloth or waffle towel. Leave in this form overnight to glass the serum. The output of the finished product from 500 g of sour cream is about 300 g.
In a dry saucepan, combine heavy cream (25% fat or more) and the juice of half a lemon. Heat the resulting mass in a water bath in boiling water. Stir constantly. After 6-9 minutes, the cream will begin to curdle and the mass will thicken. Take it off the heat and cool it down. Pass the resulting product through a cotton cloth or 8 layers of gauze.
When the serum is drained, tie the ends of the gauze to form a knot. Suspend the cheese for 3-5 hours to remove whey and press with its own weight. From 1 liter of cream, about 360 g of mascarpone is obtained.