About a month ago, I invited a few friends over for a wine and vegan cheese night. It was a lot of fun. I made "nacho cheese", herbed cashew cheese, and dehydrated cashew cheese. The nacho cheese was the favourite of the evening, which was surprising to me.
Vegan Nacho Cheese
1/4 cup flour
1/4 cup nutritional yeast
about 1 cup water (add more to get to desired consistency
Everything else is up to you, what I added:
diced garden tomatoes
habanero hot sauce
3/4 of a can of diced green chilies
a dash of olive oil
In a medium sauce pan, whisk the flour and nutritional yeast together. Add the water and whisk over medium heat until combined. Whisk in the other ingredients. Taste constantly to get to taste how you want it to. Add more water if needed. Heat until hot and bubbly. I think next time, I'll make it in the 1.5 quart slow cooker to keep it warm.
1 cup cashews, soaked for 2 - 4 hours (or longer)
1/2 cup water
1/2 teaspoon probiotic powder
Place the soaked cashews, water, and probiotic powder in a high speed blender or food processor and blend until smooth. Wrap the mixture in a cheese cloth and place in a strainer. Put the strainer in the sink or in a bowl. Place a heavy object on top of the cashew mixture, just enough to push out liquid, but not the mixture through the cheese cloth. Leave to culture for 24 - 48 hours, depending on how tangy you desire.
Stir the cheese with lemon juice, nutritional yeast, salt, and herbs to taste. You can also finely chop herbs and roll the cheese in that. Wrap in plastic wrap and put in the fridge for at least 8 hours. I think it tastes better after a few days in the fridge.
Like I said above, the nacho cheese was the favourite of the evening. Everyone mentioned how much it tasted like the processed cheese you get out of a pump. It was delicious. I thought it would be fun to dehydrate one of the cheeses to get a "rind", but it didn't really add to the flavour of the cheese. I'll just keep my cashew cheese undehydrated.
I also served the cheeses with some fresh vegetables, apple chips dried in the dehydrator, and almond veggie pate. A friend had brought over a walnut cheese spread and sunflower cheese after I took the picture. Such a fun night!
The cheese in the front is the "herbed" cashew cheese and the one in the back is the dehydrated cheese.