Many recipes that contain pizza as an ingredient require that it be grated or shredded. With hard cheeses, all you have to do is grate them manually with a box grater, and it works out pretty easy and fast. However, softer cheeses such as mozzarella prove harder to work with, especially because they get even softer as you work them as a result of heat from your own hands and from ambient temperatures. So, can you use a blender to grate soft cheese, and how can you go about it?
The first thing you need to do is get your cheese to be firmer as this will make it easier to work with, and will allow the blender the ability to shred it fast and without strain. Firming the cheese involves tossing it into the freezer for 10 to 15 minutes, but you have to be careful not to get It frozen. Bear in mind that your goal is to have it firm enough to blend, but not too solid that it becomes impossible to work with.
Preparing the cheese for blending
To get your cheese ready for blending, you have to fulfill a couple steps as indicated below.
Step 1: Wrap the cheese
Seeing as you are going to toss it into the freezer for a couple minutes, it only makes sense to have it wrapped up to keep it from collecting other odors and scents, and to make sure that it does not come into contact with any form of moisture. The best material to use for this exercise of cling film (clear foil). Cut a large enough piece to go around the cheese at least twice, making sure that all surfaces are completely covered so as to be sure that no moisture can penetrate.
Step 2: Put it in the freezer
When you have completely wrapped your soft cheese, toss it into the freezer, and make sure not to put it beneath heavy containers. You want it to get firm all the way through, even at the center. Leave it in the freezer for 10 to 15 minutes. Check by pressing on the surface to make sure that the cheese is nice and firm, but that it is not frozen solid.
Prepping the blender
Step 3: Clean your blender pitcher
Before using it, make sure that your blender pitcher is clean, and that it does not have any food residue from previous uses. You do not want to have that in your shredded cheese, and you also want to avoid anything that might get you sick.
Step 4: Dry the pitcher
If you want good quality shredded cheese, you must try as best as you can to keep it from coming into contact with moisture. For this reason, you have to use a clean kitchen towel to dry out all the water and to make sure that you do not leave traces of moisture in the blender jug.
Step 5: Plug the blender into a power source
When you have dried the pitcher completely, proceed to choose a spacious and firm working surface. Then plug your blender into a power source, but do not switch it on.
Blending your soft cheese
Step 6: Unwrap and dice your cheese
When you are satisfied with the firmness of the cheese, get it from the freezer and proceed to unwrap it. Blending it as a block may prove to be a tricky affair, so you have to dice it up to make the grating easier and faster.
Make small dice of the cheese that measure approximately 1 inch by 1 inch. Try your best to work fast since you do not want the cheese to warm up and soften in the process. If the cheese cubes are too many to grate all at a go, cover and place the remaining ones in the freezer.
Step 7: Grate your cheese cubes
Place your firm cheese cubes into the blender pitcher, making sure not to add in too many. Proceed to cover the pitcher properly to avoid spillages as the cheese is grated. Begin with medium speed which allows for the blades to easily slice through the cheese. Starting with an extremely high speed will cause the cheese to get tossed around without particularly being grated by the blades.
When the cubes have been sliced into smaller chunks, increase the blender speed to a high one. This allows for the chunks to get grated easily and fast, and it also makes sure that all the chunks are worked on so that you have uniform consistency. Try as best as you can not to overprocess your cheese so that it does not end up getting too fine or gaining heat and becoming messy.
Step 8: Remove your grated cheese from the pitcher
When you are happy with the consistency of your grated soft cheese, go on and switch your blender off. To remove the cheese from the blender pitcher, turn it upside down into a clean, dry bowl. It should come out without any problems, especially if it is still cool and form, and if it has not been worked too long. If, however, some is left at the base, tap the pitcher a coupe times to dislodge and collect remaining cheese.
Step 9: Use and store excess cheese
Once you have used as much grated cheese as you need and notice you have some left over, you need to store it appropriately to increase shelf life. The best way to store it is to place it in airtight resealable bags in the refrigerator.
How to Grate Cheese in a Blender: Summarized Method
Wash and dry pitcher completely
Put in freezer for 10 to 15 minutes
Cut the cheese block into 1 inch cubes
Blend on low then high speed
Store excess in airtight resealable bag and refrigerate
Grating soft cheese using a blender is not one of the most common methods, but it has been proven t be pretty effective and a lot less cumbersome. All you have to do is make sure it is firm enough (but not frozen), and the blender will do the rest for you. This way, you will not have to handle a rubbery mess on a box grater, or feel pain in your fingertips if you manually blend cold cheese.