64 Ideas for Leftover Cheese plus a Joke!

This post was prompted by a rather fine joke my sister told me about cheese, plus it is one of my favourite things!

Joke – best read aloud

A cheese looks into a mirror and says ...

Sorry about that!

Ideas to Suit Most Leftover Cheese

1.    Stir grated, chopped or soft cheese into hot mashed potato.
2.    Add to omelettes, scrambled egg and other egg dishes.
3.    Try burgers topped with real cheese, the processed stuff isn't compulsory, or even real cheese!
4.    Stir through risotto during last few minutes of cooking – Parmesan is traditional but other cheese work well too, soft cheese gives a rich finish.
5.    Toss into salads.
6.    Float a bit of cheese on toast on soup; if it’s good enough for the French its good enough for us! – see my cheese on toast post for details.


7.    Crumble into vinaigrette, Parmesan is traditional in Caesar dressing and blue cheese works well in dressings too – see here for basic vinaigrette recipe and lots of ideas.
9.    Mix with breadcrumbs and sprinkle onto dishes to be baked; pastas, gratins, Cauliflower Cheese etc., for a crisp crust.


10.   Sprinkle on pizza, of course.
11.   Make cheesy garlic bread.
12.   Add cheese to bread dough, grated cheese will give an even flavour throughout and crumbles will give lovely cheesy pockets. After the first rising roll out the dough and scatter with the cheese plus any other additions such as nuts, fruit etc. Re-knead and continue as usual.
14.   Cheese on Toast – lots of cheese on toast ideas here.
15.   Grilled (so called!) Cheese Sandwichessee here.
16.   Add to Alfredo Sauce – Parmesan is a basic ingredient in this lovely, quick, easy and luxurious sauce but other cheese instead of or as well as Parmesan make delicious variations.

17. Traditional Cheese Sauce

        Normally I would use a mixture of Cheddar and Parmesan plus a little mustard but any leftover cheese can be used to good effect together with seasonings to match.

30g butter
30g plain flour
600ml milk
salt and pepper
a pinch of mustard powder, cayenne, nutmeg or nothing as applicable
80g grated or crumbled cheese

~       Melt the butter in a medium sized saucepan and stir in the flour to form a paste.
~       Cook gently for a minute or two then gradually whisk in the milk till completely combined.
~       Turn up the heat and whisk constantly as the mixture comes to a boil and thicken to a smooth sauce.
~       Reduce the heat to low, simmer for 5 minutes then stir in the cheese till melted.
~       Taste and season but do not boil again as the cheese may become stringy.

18.   All sorts of cheeses make great fillings for baked potatoes.
19.   Cheese Soups – stir grated or soft cheese into your favourite soup or there are five recipes for cheese soups in SOUP (almost) the Only Recipe You'll Ever Need! including this sexy Roasted Garlic & Parmesan Cheese Soup


20.   Put a nugget of cheese in the middle of potato cakes for a molten centre when cooked.

21.   Use in a Quesadilla – a good way to use up other leftovers as well as cheese. 

~      Have you’re your filling ready; in addition to cheese good ideas are chicken, chilli, cooked vegetables, shredded cooked meat, beans etc.  You also need a flour tortilla.
~      Heat a little oil in a frying pan large enough to take your flour tortilla laid out flat.
~      Lay the tortilla in the hot pan and sprinkle the fillings over half of it.
~      Cook gently till the underside is crisp and golden, the filling hot and the cheese melty.
~      Carefully fold the unfilled half over the filled, slide onto a chopping board and cut into wedges. 
~     Serve with salsa and sour cream.

        Incidentally there is a recipe for entirely cheese-free Chocolate & Chilli Quesadilla here.

22.   Cook’s Treat – just sit yourself own with the leftover cheese, a glass or wine and maybe a good book and finish the irritating stuff off!

Ideas for Soft & Cream Cheeses

23.   Mix with a little cream and appropriate seasoning and add a spoonful to soup when serving.
24.   Melt into hot pasta for a quick sauce adding other ingredients according to your fancy.
25.   Stir into tomato based pasta sauce.
26.   Mix with a leftover sauce or salsa and use as a dip.
27.   Top crostini with cream cheese, smoked salmon and chives (or dill or parsley etc.)
28.   Almost a Cream Tea – replace the clotted cream with sweetened cream cheese (but this is absolutely no excuse to any other aberrant behaviour – the rule is jam first!).
29.   Savoury Cream Tea – use plain but not too sweet or, even better, cheese scones and fill with cream cheese and tomatoes. Boursin or similar is good for this.


30.   Sweeten and flavour cream cheese with citrus zest, vanilla extract, jam, marmalade, liqueur etc., soften with a little cream if necessary and use as a topping, frosting or filling for cakes and desserts.
31.   Fill peach halves with fresh cheese, sprinkle with brown sugar and pop under the grill till warm and caramelising.

Ideas for Brie, Camembert and Similar

32.   Dice and coat with seasoned flour, dip in beaten egg and coat with breadcrumbs. Shallow fry till crisp and golden and toss in a salad.
33.   No Cook Pasta Sauce - mix together diced Brie or Camembert, coarsely chopped tomatoes, a little finely chopped red onion, a glug of olive oil, torn fresh basil if possible, salt and pepper and set beside the stove to warm whilst cooking pasta.  When ready drain the pasta, reserving a spoonful or two of the cooking water, and toss together with the cheese mixture. Add the reserved water and toss again. Serve with freshly grated Parmesan.
34.   A Warm Salad Dressing – scoop the soft cheese from the rind and heat gently with about half as much crème fraîche, whisking till smooth and runny enough to drizzle. If necessary dilute with a little port, wine, Brandy, water or stock. Toss a green salad with some crunchy croutons, drizzle over the warm dressing and serve immediately.

Ideas for Semi Hard Cheeses such as Edam, Halloumi & Mozzarella

35.   Slice thinly and top with hot roasted tomatoes, serve with crusty bread and a glass of red wine.
36.   Speidini - toss cubed bread in flavoured oil, thread onto skewers alternating with cubes of semi hard cheese and toast under a hot grill, turning now and then, till the bread is crisp and golden and the cheese starting to melt.
37.   Mozzarella in Carrozza – make mozzarella sandwiches, white bread is the norm. Dip them in milk, then dredge with flour and finally dip in beaten egg. Shallow fry in hot oil turning so that each side is crisp and drain briefly on kitchen towel and serve immediately.
38.   Coat slices of cheese in flour, then beaten egg and finally breadcrumbs (panko crumbs are great) and fry till crisp and melting. 


 Ideas for Cheddar and other Hard or Crumbly Cheese

39.  Twice Baked Soufflés – gorgeous and useful twice baked Cheddar Soufflé recipe here



41.   Cheese Scones – I have a very useful key recipe to making scones which is great for making many other things too; dumplings, doughnuts, English biscuits as well as America, pie crusts, cobblers, slumps, griddle cakes and so on. 


I have written an The Secret Life of Scones all about this genius recipe, which in addition to all the other variations includes suggestions for at least 11 different cheese scones.

42.   Glamorgan Sausages – despite having no meat in them these are remarkably sausagey – my Glamorgan Sausage recipe is here.


Ideas for Well Hard Cheeses such as Parmesan, Gran Padano and Pecorino

43    Eat thin slivers with a glass of something red and I’m not talking tomato juice.
44.   Grate or shave over soups, risotto, pasta dishes and salads.

45.   Frico Crisps

~      Preheat the oven to 200°C/400°F/180ºC fan/gas 6.
~      Scatter an even layer of grated Parmesan onto lightly oiled greaseproof paper on a baking tray, sprinkle with black pepper or a pinch of cayenne.
~      Cook for five minutes or so till melted but not browned.
~      Leave for five minutes to firm up, remove from the baking tray to a rack and cool completely. To make a little cheese bowl drape over a glass or cup to cool.


Don’t throw away the rinds! ...

46.   Simmer in tomato sauces or soups, as is traditional when making Minestrone, or in any sauce or soup that you would grate Parmesan over.


47.   Parmesan Broth – simmer rinds in chicken or vegetable stock together with your choice of flavourings for an hour or more. Strain and use the broth in soup, sauces, and risotto.
48.   Parmesan Oil – marinate in olive oil together with flavourings such as peppercorns or chilli. Discard the rind and use the oil to drizzle or dip.

Ideas for Blue Cheese – aka Bleu Cheese in America!

49.   If you make your own burgers put a nugget of blue cheese in the middle making sure to enclose it completely. If you don’t make your own just put some on top of your burger.
50.   Crumble over steak just before serving or stir into the pan sauce, either way a drizzle of balsamic vinegar is a good addition.
51.   Fill halved and cored ripe pears with crumbled blue cheese and pop under a hot grill.
52.   Blue Cheese and Roasted Garlic Butter – or other cheesy butter, there is lots of useful information on making compound butters here.
53.   Toss in a salad, especially one containing walnuts – see for a great pear vinaigrette for this salad. 
54.   Blue Cheese Dip – process blue cheese with an equal quantity of mayonnaise, flavour with roasted or black garlic, caramelised onions or black pepper, dilute with cream if necessary.

Ideas for Goat and Sheep Cheese

56.   Marinate pieces of Feta or goats’ cheese in olive oil flavoured with chilli, garlic, peppercorns, herbs and spices and keep in the fridge for up to a month.
57.   Stuff fresh figs with goats’ cheese, wrap in prosciutto, drizzle with balsamic vinegar, bake until warm and serve as a starter.
58.   Baked Feta – place a chunk of Feta on a piece of lightly oiled foil. Drizzle with good olive oil and season according to preference. I usually add oregano and chilli flakes but roasted garlic is good too. Loosely seal the parcel and bake in a hot oven for 10-15 minutes depending on the thickness of the cheese. Serve with crusty bread and red wine.
59.   Horiatiki – Greek Salad. Toss lovely ripe tomatoes, cucumber and onion in a simple red wine vinaigrette (no mustard) together with fresh or dried oregano and salt and pepper. Serve topped with black olives and Feta.


Ideas for Sweet Nutty Cheeses such as Emmental, Gruyère or Norwegian Jarlsberg

60.   Käseschnitte –or Swiss Rarebit. Lay slices of toast in an ovenproof dish and sprinkle with white wine to moisten. Lay a slice of Swiss cheese on each piece of toast, then a slice of ham and another slice of cheese. Bake in a hot oven till melted and lightly browned.
61.   Raclette(ish) - put a goodly lump of cheese in a dish under a hot grill or on the hearth in front of a roaring fire till pretty well melted and forming a skin. Serve traditionally scraped over new potatoes with gherkins and pearl onions or non-traditionally with crusty bread.
62.   Swiss cheese is used together with ham to stuff chicken breasts in the classic dish Chicken Cordon Bleu.

2 Ideas for a Mix of Cheeses

63.   Potted Cheese – a kind of cheese pâté. Mix grated or chopped cheese scraps with a third of their weight of  soft butter, or slightly less if there are soft cheeses in the scraps. Process or whisk to combine together with a modicum (approximately a tablespoon) of leftover alcohol; brandy, port, wine or even a good ale. Taste and season. Turn into a pretty pot or pots and chill but take it out of the fridge a while before serving to soften a little.
64.   Fromage Fort – French potted cheese,  they spurn the butter, add garlic and their alcohol of choice is white wine.

Serve either of these with rustic bread and wine.


Phew – I bet I could think of lots more but that’s enough for today! 

If you found this post helpful, be sure to pin it to refer to later - here's a useful Pinterest friendly image ...

If these are just some of the suggestions I can think of for cheese don't you wonder what ideas I have for the other 450 potential leftovers in my book Creative Ways to Use Up Leftovers?

Great Preview Here!

A couple of Reviews of my Leftovers Book ...

Helps you create tasty loveliness from almost every possible leftover foodstuff you could think of (and possibly some that you couldn't....)
Cookery books are really very boring, but this one definitely isn't!   

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