Shredded cheese is a product filled with additives. Kraft Finely Shredded Mild Cheddar Cheese has an ingredient list of: “Cheddar cheese (pasteurized) milk, cheese culture, salt, enzymes, annatto [color]), potato starch, cellulose powder, and calcium sulfate added to prevent caking, natamycin (a natural mold inhibitor)”on the bag. Who wants to eat all those additives? I do not so I make my own shredded cheese and freeze the “leftovers” for use at a later time. The cheese freezes well for a few months.
This process will show how to shred cheese on a food processor. This process is easier to clean then hand graters and there is less wasted cheese stuck to the grater. The product is about equal to a large hand cheese grater the food processor I use does not have a "fine" cheese grater blade but I have not noticed a difference in recipes using larger shredded cheese. This method is also safer then hand grating if all safety devices on the food processor is working. I have raked a knuckle or two while hand grating before, so far this is not a problem using the food processor.
Step 1: Wash Hands
This is one of those no brainers but wanted to add it as a reminder. It is important to keep food prep areas clean.
Wash hands and have clean clothing on. Tie back hair if long. Make sure Kitchen is clean.
Step 2: Materials
Block of cheese*
Food processor with cheese shredder/grater blade
*I get my blocks of cheese at Sam's Club, since I can get about 1.5 pounds (around 24 ounces) for the same price the local grocery stores sell 6-8 ounces. So check at your local "bulk" store for cheaper block cheese.
Step 3: Cut Cheese Into Strips
Cut cheese into cubes or strips that will fit into food processor feed shoot (I normally have to cut my blocks into quarters)
Step 4: Freeze
Freeze cheese for a few hours (or longer) until frozen solid. (otherwise cheese will start to get mushy while shredding)
Step 5: Shread Cheese
Feed frozen cheese through food feed shoot.
About a pound of cheese will fill up my food processor. So keep an eye on how full the food processor is getting so the shredded cheese does not get compacted. Once the food processor is starting to look full, stop and package cheese in the bowl. Then start shredding the rest of the cheese or until the bowl is full again, then repeat. If the cheese gets too compressed it will not be light and fluffy.
Step 6: Use or Pack for Freezing
Loosely pack shredded cheese into freezer bags. (I normally measure the cheese out into half cup or cups per bag for ease in adding to recipes.) Loosely remove all the air from the bags (this means remove as much air as possible without squishing the cheese.)
Freeze and use within a few months for best results or “food saver” for longer storage.
Note: I have posted this on my blog: http://bflysmile.wordpress.com/2012/02/17/shredded-cheese