“Unlike mozzarella, cheddar has a low elasticity, which
means it’s less likely to blister in the oven and is frequently
used in blends,” Kerr says. “As cheddar ages, its texture,
flavor and performance changes, too. Mild cheddar has
a firm, elastic texture that slices, shreds and melts well.
Medium cheddar has a texture that’s slightly creamier
than mild, with a fuller cheddar flavor. And aged cheddar
has a texture that is both crumbly and creamy.”
A salty and tart cheese, feta also ranks as one of the fastest-growing cheeses being offered on pizzeria menus, according to Technomic. However, sheep cheeses, such as feta
and manchego, have a high protein content, lending to
firmer textures even when baked. “Because of feta’s firm
yet crumbly texture, it’s less likely to melt,” says Kerr.
“Feta is best used as a pizza topping in combination with
a semihard or semisoft cheese.”
Chicken Santa Fe Pizza
Recipe and photo courtesy of Wisconsin Milk Marketing Board
3 cloves garlic, minced (divided)
¼ tsp. chili powder, or to taste
1/8 tsp. cayenne pepper, or to taste
½ tsp. paprika, or to taste
Salt and pepper to taste
1 boneless, skinless chicken breast
1 red pepper, julienned
1 Spanish onion, julienned
½ c. olive oil
¼ c. white wine
½ c. marinara sauce
½ c. salsa
1 16-oz. pizza dough ball
¾ c. ( 3 oz.) cheddar cheese, shredded
¾ c. ( 3 oz.) mozzarella cheese, shredded
1 c. ( 4 oz.) jalapeño Havarti cheese or pepper
Jack cheese, shredded
1 tbsp. cilantro, chopped
Combine half of the garlic and all of the chili powder, cayenne
and paprika. Add salt and pepper. Rub chicken with the mixture
and refrigerate in a closed plastic bag for 1 to 4 hours. Grill
the chicken on a stovetop or grill. Slice thinly. Heat the oven to
500°F. Sauté the peppers and onions with the remaining garlic in
olive oil. Season with salt and pepper, to taste; add white wine.
Cook for 3 minutes, keeping the vegetables firm. Remove from
heat and set aside.
In a small bowl, mix marinara and salsa together for the sauce.
Set aside. Form the dough into a 12” circle and place on a pizza
stone or in a pizza pan. Spread the sauce, cheddar and mozzarella over the dough. Top the pizza with reserved peppers and
onion, then the chicken and Havarti. Bake for 10 to 12 minutes.
Sprinkle with cilantro.
White cheddar cheese is
the No. 1 fastest-growing
cheese on pizza menus
today, according to the
2017 Q2 Technomic Menu