I am in the middle of cooking for my client. He buys organic staples in bulk, including cheeses. I am working with cream cheese straight from his freezer and was therefore inspired to do this posting.
Please, let me share with you this little nugget of truth. Do not freeze cream cheese. It becomes gainy and separated and just kind of un-creamy. It will be okay to cook with, but has turned into a whole different entity. This also holds true for ricotta cheese. Mozzarella also prefers life outside the freezer, but if you are going to put it on ice, grate it first to avoid a crumbly mess when de-thawed. Once cooked, these cheeses behave very differently in the freezer, which is why a cheesecake or tray of manicotti make great frozen fare. Even just whipped into a cake icing, cream cheese’s ability to withstand the big chill increases dramatically. And also note, cream cheese lasts a really, really long time unopened in the fridge so don’t be too eager to shove it into the freezer.
Paneer also has a tendency to change it’s texture once frozen. If freezing, it is best to cube and fry it before storing it. This will give you paneer on hand with out the tell-tale crumble that it has been frozen. If you are not going to fry paneer before freezing, I recommend pressing it very well and even cubing it before storing in the freezer.
I better get back to the kitchen and this crumbly cream cheese. It will make a nice faux ricotta for the calzones I am baking tonite.