Here is the second vegan "cheese" I made that I promised to post. So far I am not too impressed with it on its own, though as you can see, it looks kinda pretty. The rosemary on top is just for looks. But I added it to my meal last night for some extra flavor and it was quite good. Mike tasted it by itself and said, "Nah" and shook his head, but he also liked it mixed in with the meal we were having. And I think it would be good on sandwiches or in burritos. So I'll go ahead and post this. It's super easy to make and I think it has possibilities by tweaking it; I just followed the recipe exactly this time. I kind of see it as a blank canvas and am thinking about adding some of the suggested additional ingredients next time, or coming up with my own flavor. I must say that it doesn't taste much like cheddar cheese to me. But that's not necessarily a bad thing. It was my first experience working with agar, so it was worth it just for that. One note: I would definitely cut back on the salt next time.
This recipe is from April 2009 issue of Vegetarian Times magazine. Italics are my notes.
Pine nuts are so small and tender, they don't need to be soaked before using to make this cheese. Agar flakes lend firmness and sliceability and eliminate the need for a straining step. Try adding other ingredients, such as chopped jalapeno chiles, cumin or caraway seeds, or a dash of smoked paprika.
1 1/4 cup unsweetened plain soy milk
1/4 cup agar flakes
1/2 cup raw pine nuts
1/2 cup organic, cold pressed canola oil
1/4 cup fresh lemon juice
3 tablespoons white wine
3 cloves garlic, peeled
2 teaspoons granulated onion
1 3/4 teaspoon salt - [I will use less next time]
1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
1. Line a 2 to 3 cup rectangular (or whatever shape you like) container with 2 layers of cheesecloth, allowing cheesecloth to hang over sides.
2. Whisk together soy milk and agar flakes in saucepan. Bring to a simmer over medium heat, and cook 8 minutes, or until agar dissolves completely and mixture is thick, stirring frequently. [It took at least 15 minutes for my agar to dissolve.]
3. Blend nuts, oil, lemon juice, wine, garlic, granulated onion, salt and pepper in blender or food processor for 5 minutes or until smooth, scraping down sides if necessary. Add soy milk mixture, and blend 2 minutes more, or until smooth. Transfer mixture to cheesecloth-lined container, smooth top. Fold overhanging cheesecloth over cheese. Refrigerate 1 hour or until firm. Unwrap, slice and serve.
Per 2-ounce serving: 167 calories; 3 g protein; 16 g total fat (1 g sat fat): 5 g carb; 0 MG chol; 522 MG SOD; <1 G fiber; 1 G sugars