Cheese Is Crouton

I don’t diet, but if I did, I would be on a low carb diet. It’s not that I don’t like bread, pasta, and french fries; Deal in is, that I more love dairy products. I will never try Atkins (like my parents did) or go keto (like a cross-fitter of sorts), but I will appreciate every new and creative cheese-based substitute I see at Whole Foods or Trader Joe’s. (Tortilla, but to make cheese out of it? Great!) Cheese can take many forms, and one of my favorites is “croutons”.

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I like to expand the idea of ​​what a toast can “be”. Pizza is toast . Tater tots are croutons . And yes, cheese is croutons. I’m not talking about the soft chunks of cheddar you get out of the package, although it’s certainly good source material, I’m talking about the fried halloumi, fricos, and pre-packaged store-bought cheese chips that I see everywhere. place.

Grilled halloumi is croutons

To be honest, my weakest argument for halloumi is that it doesn’t get super crunchy. However, it provides a charred, toasty flavor with a little crunchy texture and lots of salt (croutons should be very salty). You can also cut it into cubes that are shaped like croutons. Making croutons with halloumi (or bread cheese, which is very similar) is very simple: cut them into cubes, then fry them in a non-stick pan until they are browned on all sides. You can also cut the halloumi into thick slabs and grill them until they’re browned , then dice the slabs if you’d rather cook the cheese outside. Dice the salad as you would any other toast.

Frico is croutons

You know, I love crunchy cheese, and this is where a bag of pre-shredded cheddar comes into play. Most shredded cheeses are tossed with a small amount of starch to keep it from sticking together, and this starch actually results in tastier and crispier fried cheese slices:

As you probably know, already shredded bagged cheese is usually coated with some kind of anti-caking agent, usually potato starch or something similar. So it was with Tillamook’s spicy cheddar bag and it made the best cheesy crisp I’ve ever had. Although I originally started my batch of chips by grinding some spicy cheddar straight from the block (also spicy tilamuk to be honest), I grew tired of the grater and grabbed the pre-shredded stuff out of laziness. I had no idea how the extra starch would affect the frico, but was pleasantly surprised to find that it resulted in a crispier crust that browned much faster without a trace of bitterness. It took twice as long to get the same amount of browning with plain cheese, and the resulting dairy waffle was so bitter it was inedible.

Once you have the cheese, you are ready to make the frico. You can make it plain , or you can put something in it to make something like a cheese rind. You can do this on a silicone baking sheet in the oven, but I usually do it in a non-stick pan. To make cheese chips, fry the shredded cheese over medium heat until they begin to brown. (They will look pretty fat at first, which is what you want.)

If you want to take it to the next level, you can add ½ teaspoon of your favorite spice or seasoning (cumin, fennel, paprika, or chili powder are all very good). If you want to cut down on your labor, you can make one giant piece of frico ; simply add just enough cheese to the pan to form an even, lacy layer, then break it into crispy pieces before sprinkling it on your salad.

Cheese chips are croutons

The distribution of pre-packaged fricos is, in my opinion, good. Instead of thin lacy pieces of cheese, you can get small pieces of fried cheese that feel like real toast in your mouth. No preparation is required on your part – just buy them and put them in a salad. Made. (You can also eat them straight out of the bag as a snack, which is what I do with most crackers.)

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