Miscellaneous - Cheese crackers




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Jennifer 3FC
09-06-2002, 12:42 AM
These are not my own notes! First version is from this address:
http://www.lowcarb.org/chzcrisp.html

I found it when looking for an exact recipe for version 2, which somebody forwarded an e-mail to me. Found version 3 the same way as version 2!


Version 1

Ingredient:

pasteurized PROCESSED cheese (not cheese food and not real cheese--most
varieties will separate rather than puff up)--in slices, shreds, or small
(fairly thin) chunks

Directions:

Cover a heatproof or paper plate and lay out pieces of cheese, leaving
space for them to expand. Then microwave on high until they puff up. It's
okay if they get a little bit brown--which may happen in spots as you try
to get all the cheese to puff. Let them harden into crisp little crackers.

Unfortunately, processed cheese has some carbs (depends on brand) as well
as a lot of calories, so this is not an unlimited snack. And some people
need to limit cheese or they don't lose.

NONSTICK MATERIAL: The biggest trick is finding a material to which the
cheese doesn't stick. Waxed paper by itself is a disaster (the crisps look
great but eating them involves getting extra fiber. ;-) However, greased
waxed paper works. I use very heavy duty plastic freezer wrap (Freeze-tite
brand) which can be reused until you get tired of looking at it. Saran
Wrap also works--but doesn't last as long--while thinner stuff can't take
the heat. I've also had very good luck with the plastic wrap used to
separate the cheese slices on every brand I've tried so far. Some people
use parchment paper.

PLATES: Use paper plates covered with heavy-duty plastic wrap or parchment
paper. Or use pyroceram. Glass plates--even Pyrex and the other
borosilicates-- can break when heating is uneven. Be careful with any food
that doesn't contain a lot of liquid. You can buy a year's supply of paper
plates for the cost of just one Pyrex pie plate. And it makes cleanup so
much easier. I get the puffiest results by using the plastic wrap to bend
up the edges of the paper plate, thereby suspending the cheese in the air.
YMMV.

DO NOT COOK DIRECTLY ON MICROWAVE OVEN TRAY. Given the cost of replacing
trays, it's never a good idea to cook directly on them. They may be
thicker than ordinary Pyrex but they too can fail.

COOKING TIME depends on the power and configuration of your microwave oven.
Cheeses vary too--and short cooking times don't leave you much room for
error. You have to determine the timing for each oven. For example I have
both a large and a medium-sized oven with almost the same power. The
smaller ones takes only two thirds the time of the larger one. In my
ovens, puffing up and crisping one ounce of cheese takes about the same
amount of time as heating a cup of coffee. A half ounce slice of cheese
takes two thirds of that. For each variety (and brand!) of cheese I start
out with less time and keep adding until the cheese comes out puffed and
hardens into a crisp. Some cheeses can puff and still remain somewhat
chewy (almost like cheese bread) when slightly undercooked while others
will harden even if they haven't puffed so you have to experiment.

These crisps stay crunchy for up to three days. Data are not available for
longer time periods because of an insufficient supply of experimental
material. ;-)

I've had one report that Veggie Slices, a vegetarian cheese alternative,
works too.

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Version 2

I normally do around 32 slices of Kraft Fat Free cheese at a time making
about five sandwich size gladware containers._ The longest I have had them is
about two months and there is no difference (that we can tell) from the first
day to the 60th day.

Other cheese tastes better when microwave into chips and we eat those for
flavor._ We just like the fat free ones for substitute crackers and taco
shells since they seem to be lighter crisper._ We also use them for dips --
although they tend to be fairly fragile for stiff dips and for taco shells
which we now like better than regular tortillas.

I use Teflon liners that I bought 18 months ago to microwave all cheeses as
nothing seems to stick to them._ I normally unwrap and stack ten slices of
cheese and then cut them into sixteen pieces (making 16 stacks of ten each)
and microwave 10 pieces at a time 60 to 70 seconds._ Usually start off with
70 seconds but after two or three times, I have lessen the time in the
microwave.

I bought the Teflon liners at Lechters Kitchen store in the mall._ They are
advertised as lasting for thousands of uses._ I also tried parchment paper
which a lot of people use but the fat free cheese doesn't do as well on it
(in my opinion) since it has no fat. Parchment paper seems to work OK (for
two or three uses) for other cheeses though._ To eat alone as a nice crunchy
snack (in lieu of potato chips) we use asiago, cheddar, swiss, etc._ I was
even able to successfully microwave tofu cheese into crackers._ Couldn't eat
them though as they tasted awful!!!!!!_ Don't mind tofu cheese otherwise
though.

To make the taco shells I just microwave one whole slice of Kraft FF cheese
and it automatically melts into a large round that is just about the size of
a tortilla._ I then either leave it as is (flat) to use as a tostada shell or
drape it over a small slender rolling pin that I have (while it's still soft
out of the microwave) to form it into a taco shell.

This is absolutely the best hint that I have received since starting to cook
for my 87-year old diabetic mother two years ago._

I think the thanks go to Barbara Pollack for this great idea of finding a way
to get the crunch back into a low crab diet._ Sure hope I'm giving the
deserved credit to the right person!
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Version 3

Options for Chips and Dippers

Take one American cheese slice, place or parchment paper or heavy duty freezer wrap in microwave, and microwave for 1 minute 10 seconds, until crispy.
Take very thinly sliced cooked salami, place between paper towels and microwave until crispy! Almost like a potato chip without the potato
Sliced fresh vegetables make good dippers. Try spears of broccoli, slices of mushroom, cucumber or zucchini, spoons of sweet red and green pepper.
Hollow out cherry tomatoes and fill with any spread or dip.
Any sliced deli meat can be covered with a spread or dip and rolled-up for great finger food.