Man Food: 5 Cheesy Snack Recipes
While there’s nothing wrong with the predictable hunger killers – peanuts, pretzels, a piece of fruit — these go-to mini-meals are distinctly uninspired. Our weekly Man Food series will help you fight the scourge of boring snacks.
The average American consumes nearly 34 pounds of cheese every year, according to the Canadian Dairy Information Centre, which tracks cheese consumption around the world. Whether it’s piled on pizza, melted on a cheeseburger, or baked with macaroni, we’re obviously not having much trouble finding ways to sneak cheese into our diets. Yet there’s always room for improvement, especially since there are so many different ways to consume this delicious dairy product. If you’re looking for even more ways to incorporate cheese into your daily life, try one of these five recipes for delicious cheesy snacks.
1. Homemade Baked Cheese Crisps
If you secretly enjoy eating those little bits of crispy, cooked cheese that sometimes get stuck to the pan when you’re cooking a burger, you’re going to love this ultra-easy snack, which has the added bonus of being low-carb. Recipe from Joyful Abode.
- Cheese (such as cheddar or parmesan)
- Herbs and spices (whatever flavors you prefer)
Directions: Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit, and line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
Grate your cheese. Harder cheeses, like cheddar and parmesan, will work better for this recipe than softer cheeses like brie or mozzarella. Mix in any herbs or other seasonings you like, such as basil, parsley, or chili powder.
Place small spoonfuls (about a teaspoon each) of the cheese mixture on the baking sheet, leaving a couple of inches between each pile. Bake in the oven for 5 to 7 minutes, until the cheese has spread and is crispy around the edges.
Remove from the oven, transfer crisps to a plate or rack, and allow to cool. Serve alone or with a dip of your choice.
2. Homemade White Cheddar Cheese Crackers
DIY cheese crackers are an easy-to-make alternative to store-bought varieties of this popular snack. Make sure to use a high-quality, sharp white cheddar cheese in this recipe to get the maximum flavor. Recipe from Cinnamon Spice and Everything Nice.
For the crackers:
- ¾ cup all-purpose flour
- 1½ teaspoons instant yeast
- ⅛ teaspoon salt
- ⅛ teaspoon baking soda
- ⅛ teaspoon sugar
- ⅛ teaspoon white vinegar
- ¼ cup plus 3 tablespoons water
- 1 tablespoon butter
- 1 tablespoon olive or vegetable oil, plus more for greasing
For the cheese topping:
- About 4 ounces extra-sharp white cheddar cheese, shredded
- Coarse salt
- Black pepper
Directions: Whisk together the flour, yeast, salt, baking soda, and sugar in a medium bowl.
Combine the water, butter, and oil in a small saucepan. Bring to a simmer, stirring until the butter is melted. Remove from heat, and let cool.
Add the vinegar to a water and butter mixture, then pour over the flour. Stir until combined. Place the dough in greased bowl, cover with plastic wrap, and refrigerate overnight.
Bring the dough to room temperature. Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Line two large baking sheets with parchment paper.
Divide the dough in half. Roll out one half into a 6-by-4-inch rectangle (make sure you do this on floured work surface). Fold the left third of the rectangle over the center of the dough, and then the right third over the other two thirds. Roll out dough until you have a very thin sheet.
Cut the dough into 3- or 4-inch squares. (Using a pizza cutter will make this easier; a ruler will help keep your crackers a uniform size.) Transfer the squares to the baking sheets. Poke each square of dough 5 or 6 times with a toothpick (this will keep the crackers from puffing up during cooking). Sprinkle some cheese on each cracker, along with a little salt and pepper.
Bake for 10 to 14 minutes, until crackers are light gold in color. Transfer to a rack to let cool, then repeat the process with the remaining dough. Let crackers cool for several hours before transferring to an airtight container.
3. Beer-Battered Cheese Curds
Deep-fried cheese curds are a classic fair food, but you don’t have to brave the midway to enjoy these treats. You can make your own fried curds at home by following this simple recipe from Wisconsin Made. We think they’re guaranteed to be a hit at your next party.
- 8 ounces beer
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- 1 cup flour
- 1 egg
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1 (12-ounce) bag of cheese curds
Directions: In a bowl, whisk together all the ingredients except the cheese curds. Dip cold or frozen cheese curds into the batter until fully coated.
Fry the cheese curds in a deep fryer or a heavy-duty skillet filled with oil until golden brown.
Drain on paper towels, and serve immediately.
4. Savory Prosciutto, Asparagus, and Swiss
Tender roasted asparagus, mouth-watering prosciutto, and creamy soft Swiss cheese make for a delicious, simple snack, or even a light meal. Recipe from Laughing Cow.
- 1½ ounces creamy Swiss cheese
- 5 to 7 slices prosciutto
- 5 to 7 asparagus spears
Directions: Preheat oven to 425 degrees Fahrenheit. Wash and trim the asparagus, then roast the spears in the oven for 12 to 15 minutes, until tender. Spread the Swiss cheese onto the prosciutto slices. Wrap slices around asparagus spears. Serve.
5. Smoked Salmon and Cream Cheese Spread
A little smoked salmon adds a lot of flavor to this rich and creamy spread. Spread some on crackers or a fresh baguette for a quick snack, or use it as a dip for veggies. Once prepared, the spread will keep for up to a week in the fridge. Recipe from Natasha’s Kitchen.
- 8 ounces cream cheese, room temperature
- ½ cup sour cream
- ½ tablespoon fresh-squeezed lemon juice
- ¼ teaspoon salt, or to taste
- ½ teaspoon hot sauce, or to taste
- 4 ounces smoked salmon (about 1 cup chopped)
- 1 tablespoon chives, chopped, plus more for garnish
Directions: Combine softened cream cheese, sour cream, lemon juice, salt, and hot sauce in a food processor. Pulse until well combined. Add the chopped salmon and chives. Process for a few seconds more, just until everything is combined. Add salt and pepper to taste. Transfer to a bowl, cover, and refrigerate until ready to serve.
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