Ummm herbed cashew cheese with a sharp bite like cheddar cheese, sign me up! So I admit it, I made this last weekend and unfortunately wasn’t able to enjoy much more than a few bites of it, but man it was good. I had all sorts of dreams about delicious sandwiches and cashew cheese pizza… and then I got sick. So you better believe that I will be making another batch of this ASAP! In all honestly it is going to sound like a lot of work but really it only took about 20 mins of actual hands-on prep time, the rest was a lot of waiting. One of the best parts is the ingredients are very simple, cashews and what ever seasoning you want to use. I saw many recipes with lots of variations. I’ll show you the basics and you can use your own imagination to make your own version!
Baking this dish gives it a nice crisp crust with a smooth hard texture on the inside. So let’s get started!
2 Cups Raw Cashews
1/2 Cup of the Water You Soaked Your Cashews In
Sea Salt and Herbs (garlic powder, oregano, whatever you have on hand that sounds good)
Tools needed: Cheese cloth cut big enough to bundle the cheese in and something to suspend the bundled cheese with over a bowl, I used chopsticks.
Ok here we go… soak your cashews for at least 8 hours or overnight on the countertop. In a food processor or blender puree your softened cashews and 1/2 cup of the water your soaked your cashews in. Process this for a few minutes until smooth then add a few pinches of sea salt to taste. Yes, you can taste the cheese at this point. In fact you can use it although it will not be firm, but more like a ricotta texture. Puree for a few more minutes making sure the mixture is extra smooth.
Once you do this its time to “dry” your cheese a bit. Scoop your cheese into the middle of the cheese cloth you cut.
The bundle up the cheese cloth around the cheese and secure it with a rubber band or in my case a hair tie. Force through the top of the cheese cloth whatever you are using to hang the cheese with. After you have done this simply hang the bundled cheese over a bowel to catch the drip. Drain the cheese at room temperature for 2-4 hours. It is highly possible that nothing will drain off but the air will dry out the cheese a bit. After 2-4 hours on the countertop place the suspended bundled cheese in the fridge overnight or for at least 6 hours.
After the cheese has spent the night draining and drying in the fridge place it in a small baking dish. Shape the cheese into a flattened ball and sprinkle the top and sides with sea salt and herbs. I used garlic power, sea salt, thyme and oregano. Heat the oven to 225 degrees and bake for at least 45 minutes and up to two hours. If you have less time up the temperature to 250.
Let me know if you have any questions. It really very simple. In fact I’ll probably soak some cashews overnight tonight so that early tomorrow morning I can start the drying process while I’m at work!
Today was my first day back to work since being sick. The day went ok besides my headaches acting up quite a bit thanks to the spinal tap. I’m actually very worried that I will have to go back to the ER to get a blood patch. Marathon training has not gone as planned last week or this week but I will let you know what my new game plan is when I get one!