Sunday, January 09, 2011

Mac and Chezz!

After years of being largely dissatisfied with my dairy-free cheese options (excluding some truly convincing cream chezz), I'm pleased to add my review to the pre-existing accolades for Daiya Vegan Cheese.

I first heard about it when a walk through the neighbourhood took me to the nearby Vegan Danish Bakery. They sell Daiya — a tapioca-based cheese substitute — and extolled its virtues to me. I purchased one 8 oz. bag each of the cheddar style shreds and the mozzarella style shreds and started experimenting by making grilled chezz sandwiches. Several quesadillas and grilled chezz sandwiches later, I knew I was dealing with a genuinely melting, authentic-tasting dairy-free cheese substitute!

The cheddar style shreds taste much like a sharp cheddar when in their unmelted form, and startlingly like American cheese when melted. The mozzarella style shreds aren't quite mild or sweet enough to be convincingly mozzarella-like, but they are sweeter and less sharp than the cheddar version.

I decided to taste the melt-ability of the shreds in a chezz sauce, based on the Betty Crocker recipe for Cheese Sauce, using vegan margarine and soy milk in place of their dairy counterparts. Using Food Wishes recipe for Mac n' Cheese as a place to start, I added some salt, cracked black pepper, Dijon mustard and fresh-grated nutmeg in the sauce. I also followed his suggestion of using panko as a topping for the mac and cheese.

I was pleased at how well the sauce came together when the shreds were added, and the flavour was spot-on. Sadly, once the sauce was added to the pasta and the dish was baked, the result was surprisingly bland. I may have to refrain from baking future attempts at this comfort food, perhaps using Food Wishes No-Bake Macaroni and Cheese recipe as a starting-off point. Still, the result was encouraging enough that I'd like to attempt it again.



Post a Comment

<< Home