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Parmesan forgotten in the fridge: very hard – what to do with it?

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i have forgotten some piece of parmesan in the fridge and it became very hard and oily when touched.

since it is quite a large piece i was wondering if i could use it for a soup or stock or so.

first thing that came to my mind was onion sous.

has anyone experiences and tips?

also, since it is quite annoying but i dont really know how to prevent it, how to store cheese over a longer period of time in the fridge without becoming dry and hard?

thanks so much!

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I save the rind from Parmesan for long periods of time. As long as it doesn't get moldy, I like to put it into a pot of dried white beans, like flagolet or cannellini. Add to it some nice olive oil and some herbs, and it makes a great pot of beans.

You can use a fair amount of rind because it does not break apart, but the non-rind part will melt (even if it is dry and hard now) so you might want to be careful on the amount.

I have no tips on storage.

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Dip some cheesecloth into vinegar. Squeeze it out. Wrap your cheese in it and then put it into a plastic bag and store in the fridge.

I also very often freeze cheese.

As to what to do with it now, how about grating it and making some Parmesan Cheese Wafers/Crisps. Basically all you do is to mound the grated cheese into small piles in a skillet or other sort of flat-surfaced grill and heat the cheese until it melts and forms a cheese disc. Then you lift it off and cool and eat. They're good on their own as a snack, or as a garnish for salads, or as a side dish for soup.

There are many, many more specific recipes online, but here's a starting point: http://cookeatshare.com/recipes/crisp-parmesan-cheese-wafers-132047

Edited by Jaymes (log)

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For storage in the refrigerator, I find that putting hard grating cheeses in heavy ziplock bags helps to keep them from drying out. The reality is, however, that these cheeses will dry out and get hard if you have them in there for, say, six months. And the moistness of freshly-cracked Parmigiano-Reggiano won't last all that long after you bring it home no matter what you do.


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I keep my cheeses (Parmesan and my cheese of the month) in a small plastic box , the really cheapo kind, they all stay in good

condition, Parmesan for at least a couple of months and my Wenslydale stays moist for a month.

also, most cheese will freeze quite well.

If you have a microplane, that will take care of any hardening.

Martial.2,500 Years ago:

If pale beans bubble for you in a red earthenware pot, you can often decline the dinners of sumptuous hosts.

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Yes indeed, you can use it in soup and it will be delicious, especially in a minestrone. Any dish with melted cheese will be a fine use for it too. Just shave it into slivers with a chef's knife.

However, the French can also come to the rescue here with Fromage Fort; it's odds and ends of cheese, blended together into a paste with garlic and white wine. You can spread it on tartines or use it as a dip for crudites. Save your old cheese in the freezer until you have a variety and enough to make this.

For a pound of cheese, add 1/2 cup wine, 2TBS fresh chopped herbs and 1/2 clove of garlic, plus a little butter or creme fraiche to soften if needed (depending on the types of cheese you are using). Blend and add more wine a little at a time to obtain your preferred consistency. You could use water and lemon juice if you didn't want alcohol in the cheese.

Edited by Plantes Vertes (log)
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thank you all so much for the help!

especially the tip with the paste sound great!

believe it or not, this cheese is very hard, so hard even my microplanes have a hard time ( even though they still can handle it;))

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Guys! Marcella Hazan to the rescue... :raz:

First, store your parmigiano wrapped in one layer of wax paper, then in another tight layer of aluminum foil, in the fridge. It will last almost forever this way.

Then, if it does get too hard and dry, wrap the dried-out cheese in a layer of dampened cheesecloth, then in wax paper, then in foil. Leave it in the fridge for two days. Remove. It will be like new. Store as above.

(Of course the rind can always be used for stews and soups and such, but you don't need to waste the cheese.)

All from "The Essentials..."

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