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Homemade American Cheese

['1/2 cup plus 2 tablespoons whole milk, divided', '1 teaspoon gelatin', '8 ounces mild orange cheese, such as Colby, grated', '3/4 teaspoon kosher salt', '1 tablespoon unsalted butter']

To make a block of cheese, line a 2-cup resealable container with plastic wrap. Alternatively, to make square cheese slices, line a 13x9" rimmed baking sheet with plastic wrap.
Place 2 Tbsp. milk in a small bowl and sprinkle gelatin over. Let sit 10 minutes. Meanwhile, pulse cheese and salt in a food processor just until mixed and broken up.
Heat butter and remaining 1/2 cup milk in a small saucepan over medium-high. Bring to a boil, then remove from heat and whisk in gelatin mixture.
With motor running, carefully pour in milk mixture through tube, then continue to process, scraping bowl halfway through, until smooth, 10–20 seconds.
Working quickly (gelatin will begin to set), pour cheese mixture into prepared container, smoothing top. Cover and chill until firm, 2–3 hours. If making a block, unmold and slice as desired. If making cheese slices, cut cheese into 6 4x4" squares and store slices with layers of wax or parchment paper in between.
Cheese can be made 5 days ahead; wrap tightly in plastic and chill.

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