White Cheddar Gougeres

Leftover Dairy, Cheese & Eggs

Dairy and Eggs – so common, they hardly need discussion. But maybe there’s something here to help you, or maybe you could share an idea or two of your own. 

 

please bear with me as I update this page.

Leftover cheese – photo from the Calorie Factory.

leftover cheeses

Sure, there’s a zillion ways to use cheese, but I’m primarily talking about little bits of leftover cheese littering up the fridge.

Almost all cheese can be frozen and used later, although this will affect the texture. Thaw overnight in the fridge for best results. Frozen cheese will need to be used in something where it won’t matter rather than eaten out of hand.

Twice Baked Potatoes from the Freezer – This is what happens when you ask your child to sprinkle a little extra cheese on them! 🙂 They were good, though!

most cheese:

1. add to purees:

Particularly good if added to mashed potatoes, polenta and grits but good in other vegetable purees too. I think I just might have more than one recipe for Cheesy Grits on my blog.

2. crostini or bruschetta, pizza or flatbread:

Almost any cheese, hard or soft can be used to make crostini or bruschetta, either a single cheese or several mixed together. Add herbs if desired. Same goes with pizza or flatbreads. Here’s a Four Cheese Flatbread from HowSweetEats.

3. egg dishes:

Scrambled eggs, omelettes, frittatas, or quiches. These dishes are all good with almost any cheese or cheeses in a small or larger amounts. Instant Pots do a great job on Frittatas, like this Asparagus & Chive one, or maybe you’d like a stove to oven recipe this marvelous Asparagus one. Too much asparagus? Just sub what you have on hand.

4. salads:

Bits and pieces of cheese, mixed or matched, hard or soft are always good in a salad. Hard, grated cheese can go in vinaigrettes (think Caesar.) Cheese, hard or soft, goes well in pasta salads, too, like this Antipasto Tortellini Salad.

5. stuff:

Stuff into baked potatoes, potato cakes, dates (Devils on Horseback), burgers (Juicy Lucy), meatloaf or just about any item you can think of.

6. tomatoes:

Add cherry tomatoes to a pan with olive oil and garlic over medium high heat & blister, turn out to a small casserole, add cheese & broil. Eat with bread. This similar recipe is named Blistered Tomatoes in the Snow.

7.  cheese sauce:

Use all, or bits of this and that to cheese sauces, supplemented with another cheese if not enough. Mix up and top bread (think Welch Rabbit), mix into Mac & Cheese, add bits to up the flavor in Alfredo, and so on. We kind of like this Three Cheese Chicken Casserole and it’s forgiving enough to just add a bit of this and that.

8. gratin:

Top a tomato, zucchini or other vegetable and broil. Mix cheese with breadcrumbs and do the same or use the mixture to top almost any casserole. See my post on Breadcrumbs for a great topping mixed with cheese.

9. risotto:

Parmesan might be the most thought of finish for risotto, but any cheese can complement the dish. Life’s Ambrosia has a Three Cheese Risotto. Oh, my.

10. grilled cheese, garlic bread or quesadillas:

Just about any cheese can be added to a cheese sandwich or quesadilla. Quesadillas are a great way to up your leftover game with just about anything in the fridge.

11. add to soups:

A little or a lot can be stirred in, off heat to give cream soups a little more flavor, and all kinds of bits and pieces may go in a cheese soup, like this Beer Cheese Soup. Why not top or serve Cheesy Toasts with your soup?

12. Add to baked goods:

Scones, cheese breads of any kind, muffins, etc. I love this Beer Cheese Bread as a vehicle for using up a mix of cheeses.

Marinated Goat Cheese with Citrus & Herbs
Marinated Goat Cheese with Citrus & Herbs

soft cheese:

Store cheese with rinds, well wrapped in cheese paper, wax paper or parchment so it can breathe. If you’re using a fresh cheese like a feta, goat or queso, store in an airtight container.

Cheesy Toasts
Cheesy Toasts
1. marinate:

Save from doom by slicing and marinating soft cheeses. This marinated goat cheese is a favorite, but all kinds of soft cheese can be marinated in all kinds of things and that marinating will increase the shelf life.

2. make liptauer cheese:

Liptauer is a spicy cheese spread that can be varied to your taste. It’s a fantastic use for a bit of this or that, especially if you use a cream or other cheese as a base and add bits of stronger cheese in.

3. boursin:

The French may blanch at the idea, but riff off boursin: add flavors and herbs to soft cheeses and use as a spread.

4. pasta:

Stir into tomato based pasta sauce, or melt into any hot pasta for a quick sauce. Think Carbonara or Alfredo for some inspiration.

5. fritter:

Dice and coat with seasoned flour, dip in beaten egg and coat with breadcrumbs. Shallow fry till crisp and golden and serve with soup or salad. This Cheese Fritter recipe from Southern Fatty is mouth-watering!

6.  spread:

With any mild soft cheese, add bits of fruit, vegetables and/or nuts and use as a spread for crackers, toast, bagels. Doesn’t this Roasted Red Pepper Cream Cheese Spread from Fearless Dining sound intriguing?

Country Souffle
Country Souffle

hard cheese, such as cheddar, swiss, mozzarella, jack, etc.:

If using quickly, store cheese in plastic wrap, sealed container or a Ziploc bag, but for longer than a few days, store well wrapped in cheese paper, wax paper or parchment.

Fromage Fort - cheese wine
Fromage Fort
1. fromage fort:

Break up odds and ends and whiz them together in a food processor for a Cheese Spread.  Almost any mixture will work, just watch so that you don’t overpower it with one particular flavor. You might want to add a soft cheese to bulk it up and round out the flavors.

2. gourmet “mozzarella” sticks or cheese curds:

These can be made with just about any cheese you’d like. Cut cheese into fingers, freeze, coat in flour, then beaten egg , then roll in breadcrumbs and fry till lightly browned and melting. Check out this recipe for Real Wisconsin Cheese Curds.

3. queso asado:

Roasted Cheese is a marvelous Mexican treat. It’s particularly good with a green salsa or sauce.

4. monte cristo:

Up your grilled cheese game with a Monte Cristo sandwich. Classically made with Gouda, other cheeses may be used. Remember Bennigan’s? Genius Kitchen has a copycat.

5. vegetables:

Add to any steamed veggies, especially broccoli or cauliflower, to melt and form a sauce. Toss a little cheese in during the last minute or so of cooking if you’re heating frozen veggies in the microwave.

6. souffle:

Souffles don’t have to be a big huge thing. Make simple Country Souffles from you leftover cheese bits and whatever else you’d like to make. Make little individual ones to serve with salads.

Home-made croutons, these are baked
Home-made croutons, these are baked

harder cheeses and grating cheeses, such as parmesan, pecorino, asiago, etc.

If using quickly, store cheese in plastic wrap, sealed container or a Ziploc bag, but for longer than a few days, store well wrapped in cheese paper, wax paper or parchment.

Parmesan Bread Garlic Toast
Parmesan Bread Garlic Toast
1. eat:

Just serve in slivers with crackers and wine.

2. add to crackers or bread sticks:

Home-made crackers or bread sticks are an ideal place to sneak in a grated nubbin of leftover cheese. How about Spicy Southern Cheese Crackers from the Brown Eyed Baker? Just toss in whatever cheese you have.

3. frico:

Grate the cheese, form into small rounds on a cookie sheet and bake at 400 degrees until melted and golden. Leave for a bit to firm, then remove and serve flat with salads or form into cups to fill.

4. turnovers or other pastry:

Tuck bits of cheese into puff pastry turnovers. Don’t these look turnovers from FabFood4All look incredible? Carry this idea and add bits of cheese to savory “pop tarts”, popovers, gougeres or other similar dishes.

5. croutes (croutons):

Sounds better in French? Grate parmesan over sliced or torn bread, drizzle with olive oil and saute until bubbling and golden. See my home-made Croutons recipe.

Parmesan Rinds – photo from Foodie for Two.

rinds:

Rinds of hard cheese are like flavor packed power bombs of umami flavor. Don’t waste them. Toss them in the freezer and if you don’t have any, look for them at a discount at Trader Joe’s or cheese shops. If you’re curious about whether to eat the rind of any cheese, check out this post by Cheese Underground.

Winter Minestrone, adapted from Tyler Florence
Winter Minestrone, adapted from Tyler Florence
1. parmesan broth:

Simmer rinds in stock together with your choice of flavorings. See three different recipes for Brodo di Reggiano (Parmesan Broth) and ways to use it at Cooking with Aunt Juju.

2. flavored oil:

Marinate in olive oil together with herbs & spices. Think peppercorns, chilis, etc. Discard rind (or use in soup) and use the oil for drizzling or dipping.

3. soups:

Use rinds in soup for deep umami flavor. Don’t discard the softened, flavored rind – it’s a special little treat on its own. This Winter Minestroni is a great example of using the rind.

4. grill:

Slowly grill rind (fun in a fireplace during the winter) until it becomes soft and chewy. Eat with toast or bread. (Non waxed rinds, only.)

5. risotto:

Add to risotto; it will flavor the rice as it cooks.

6. bechamel or white sauce:

Steep rinds in milk and cream, then strain to enhance white or bechamel sauces.

The Ultimate Macaroni & Cheese with Herb Breadcrumb Topping
The Ultimate Macaroni & Cheese with Herb Breadcrumb Topping

milk & milk products

Just about any kind of milk or milk product can languish in your fridge. Days get busy, planned recipes go by the wayside or suddenly habits change. Many have a long shelf life, longer than you think, especially when handled carefully: lid and put right back in the fridge…don’t leave it sit opened on the table or counter. Here’s ideas, though, to use up an excess.

Best Home-made Chocolate Pudding
Best Home-made Chocolate Pudding

plain ol’ milk:

The old-fashioned way to use up milk was to use sour milk in recipes. This is no longer recommended.

Cream of Broccoli Soup easy, fast, add cheese if you'd like
Cream of Broccoli Soup (there’s several Broccoli Soups on my blog!)
1. freezing:

Frozen milk may separate and become grainy, but is still safe. Think about using this in recipes or in coffee. It’s great for smoothies. Freeze in ice-cube trays & use about 7 cubes and 1/2 cup fruit, preferably frozen. Add a little liquid, such as juice, if needed to get blender going.

2. cheeses:

There are all kinds of easy to make cheese recipes, from cottage cheese, queso fresco, paneer, mozzarella, etc. Most require very little effort and very little “hands on” time.

3. yogurt:

This is a no brainer! See the recipe and all the helps and hints you could ever want on my post Simply Best Yogurt.

4. puddings and custards:

Recipes like this generally use a good amount of milk, so are ideal if you’re looking to use yours up quickly. I love this Chocolate Pudding, and I bet you will, too.

5. white sauces or bechamel:

Think about any recipes that rely on a White Sauce to use an excess of milk. How about my Ultimate Ultimate Ultimate Mac & Cheese?

Spicy Fried Chicken Sandwich Bon Appetit BA Best
Spicy Fried Chicken Sandwich

buttermilk:

Buttermilk has a long shelf life, but sometimes we need a little inspiration to go through a carton.

Lemon Buttermilk Popsicles, with optional Thyme
Lemon Buttermilk Popsicles, with optional Thyme
1. salad dressing:

Mix with mayonnaise and an assortment of herbs. And of course you can mix it with a Ranch packet – maybe you’d like to try my Home-Made Ranch Mix?

2. purees:

Think mashed potatoes or other vegetable puree for a bit of rich, smoothy tanginess. Just substitute the buttermilk for the milk.

3. marinade:

Marinate chicken, lamb or fish in buttermilk. This Spicy Chicken Sandwich, originally from Bon Appetit’s BA’s Best is “extra.”

4. bake:

Look for recipes that use buttermilk. Quick breads, muffins, donuts, pancakes, biscuits, shortbread, scones, cornbread are a start. If you’re making something with buttermilk, preplan and have ingredients on hand for another recipe.

5. freeze or make popsicles:

Buttermilk does seem to freeze better than other milk, perhaps because of the lower fat content. Figure out how much liquid your ice-cube tray holds, then how much each ice-cube will be so you can thaw an appropriate amount. As long as your freezing, why not popsicles?

Whipped Cream for the Freezer
Whipped Cream for the Freezer – Dollop or pipe whipped cream onto parchment or plastic wrap

cream:

Cream has an extremely long shelf life, and generally will keep for several weeks. Store longer after opening by transferring to a very clean, small jar.

Swedish Pancakes with Blueberry Compote
Swedish Pancakes with Blueberry Compote
1. substitute:

Use a little cream all or in part for milk in recipes. It just makes them richer.

2. soup:

Cream may almost always be added to soups, especially vegetable or cheesy ones. Generally, you don’t want to simmer or boil after adding.

3. whip it and use it:

Have a heyday and use it on all your desserts, hot chocolates, puddings, waffles and pancakes. In these Swedish Pannkakor  (Pancakes), whipped cream is mixed with cream cheese for a fake “Mascarpone.”

4. whip it and freeze:

While cream doesn’t freeze well in a liquid state, once whipped, dollop or pipe it out and freeze it. Use it later in beverages like hot chocolate. See Whipped Cream for the Freezer.

5. butter:

Put it in a jar and give to the kids and have them shake it till it forms butter.

Sour Cream Raisin Pie
Sour Cream Raisin Pie

sour cream (or creme fraiche):

Use very clean utensils, not ones that have touched the counter, to portion sour cream. Do not leave open to the air; at the very least loosely cover with the lid when out. Store upside down in the fridge.

Roasted Pears with Lemon Cream and Maple Caramel Syrup
Roasted Pears with Lemon Cream and Maple Caramel Syrup
1. no-brainer:

Savory: Use it on Mexican food or on/in baked or mashed potatoes. Sweet: Mix with whipping cream and/or something sweet for a rich topping for desserts or breakfast items. See my Roasted Pears with Lemon Cream for inspiration.

2. bake:

Look for recipes that call for sour cream; most use small amounts, perfect for using up just a bit of sour cream. If you need to use a lot, try this Sour Cream Raisin Pie.

3. soup:

Add to soup (off heat) to enrichen or just add a dab to your serving.

4. start a new batch:

Yes, you can use sour cream with live cultures to mix up a home-made sour cream.

5. dressing:

Sour cream makes an awesome salad dressing. You might wish to combine it with mayo. It will make almost any creamy dressing; thin if needed. See my post on Salad Dressings for inspiration.

Lemon Yogurt Dressing - three ingredients
Lemon Yogurt Dressing – three ingredients

yogurt:

Yogurt keeps just about forever, weeks past it’s “buy by” date when properly stored. Still, we might open a carton and then forget – until it’s almost too late. Here’s what to do with it (besides eat it!)

Summer Squash with Herbed Yogurt Sauce
Summer Squash with Herbed Yogurt Sauce
1. baking:

Use yogurt in baking in place of buttermilk or sour cream – this is great for sweet baked goods and fantastic in things like meatballs and meat loaf, like this adaptation of Cook’s Illustrated.

2. dressings & healthy sauces:

Creamy dressings are wonderful with yogurt; it has a good tang like buttermilk. May need to be thinned. Add herbs and use it as a savory sauce, like in this recipe for Herbed Yogurt Sauce served with Summer Squashes.

3. popsicles:

Ya gotta love creamy, dreamy popsicles made from yogurt; healthy and delish. A favorite of ours is this Blackberry Yogurt Swirl Popsicle.

4. dips & spreads:

Yogurt is a natural in creamy or cheesy dips and spreads. Use it as a sub for sour cream or in its own unique way. It’s great a natural pairing with Feta. Check this Skinny Feta Yogurt Dip from the Skinny Kitchen for inspiration.

5. smoothies:

Add it to your smoothies for thick, shake like smoothies anytime. See how to Build a Better Berry Smoothie for our favorite, or maybe you’d like to add yogurt to my budget Big, Fat Green Smoothies.

please bear with me as I update all this below…………………………………………….

Cream Sauces, White Sauces or Cheese Sauces

1. souffle:

If you have a bit of leftover white sauce, you have yourself a shortcut to a marvelous souffle. See my Country Souffle for some inspiration. Add leftover vegetables!

2. croquette:

Just another name for a fancy “fritter” croquettes can be made up of just about anything and bound with a white sauce.

3. add to vegetables:

Think creamed broccoli, creamed peas, just about creamed anything. Use cooked or leftover vegetables, add the sauce and heat.

4. breakfast:

Add a little cheese to your white sauce and make Eggs Florentine for breakfast!

5. more info:

See my page on White Sauces & What To Do With Them for more ideas & inspiration. Many of the white sauces have cheese added (mornay sauce.)

 

Eggs

 Whole:

1. freeze:

Whole eggs, out of shell, and beaten until just blended can be frozen.  Label with the number of eggs, date, freeze for up to a year. Whites, for faster thawing and easier measuring, can be frozen in ice-cube trays. Defrost frozen eggs overnight in the refrigerator.

2. Refrigerate:

Raw eggs out of the shell keep 2 days.

3. use just as regular eggs:

Either frozen or refrigerated eggs (out of the shell) may be used in any way fresh eggs (out of the shell) can be used.

 Whites:

1. freeze:

Whites, for faster thawing and easier measuring, can be frozen in ice-cube trays. Label with the number of egg whites, date, freeze for up to a year. Defrost frozen eggs overnight in the refrigerator. Whites may not whip up as well as fresh, leaving at room temperature for 30 minutes before beating may help.

2. refrigerate:

Egg whites will keep up to 4 days.

3. make meringue:

If stored in the fridge or used immediately, the odd egg makes marvelous meringues. You’ll find just about everything you need to know about meringues on the Incredible Edible Egg site (and several recipes on my site.)

4. add to egg dishes:

Many feel using just egg whites in an egg dish or using a combination of whole eggs and egg whites are healthier. Add egg whites to omelets, frittatas or just about any breakfast dish.

5. in recipes:

Many recipes call for egg whites, often recipes with a batter to coat other things, like Chili Rellenos. Of course, as many egg whites as you can use may be saved up, giving you greater opportunities in baking.

 

Yolks:

1. freeze:

Frozen, yolks will become gelatinous and hard to use when frozen. To retard, beat in either 1/8 teaspoon salt or 1 1/2 teaspoons sugar or corn syrup per 1/4 cup of egg yolks (about 4 yolks). When labeling, make sure to add whether you’ve added salt or sweet so they can be used appropriately. Date & freeze for up to a year. Defrost frozen eggs overnight in the refrigerator.

2. Refrigerate:

Egg yolks should be covered with water (to prevent drying) & drained before using. Keep up to 2 days.

3. garnish:

Gently poach, sieve or crumble and garnish salad

4. custards, ice-cream & mousse:

 

hard boiled:

1. add to salad:

Add to a green salad, especially a chef’s salad or spinach salad, but also think about potato salads.

2. make a salad:

Made egg salad to eat or use as a sandwhich spread. Mash with avocadoes for a healthier version.

 

sharing:

I’m sure there are dozens and dozens of uses for leftover dairy and eggs – anyone out there have a go to idea the’d like to share?

helpful links:

 

Comments and discussion always welcome - tell me what you think.

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