Sunday, January 3, 2010

Cheese Making at Home: super duper easy recipe

I got this recipe from Wild Fermentation, another amazing christmas gift. Very similar to the other farmer cheese I made last time, with the lemon juice from my tree. The main difference: i heated the milk until it boiled instead of watching the temperature. So easy. Make this. You'll thank yourself.
  • about a half gallon of raw milk (I had removed a lot of the cream so it was no longer whole milk)
  • 1/4 cup cider vinegar
  • optional and SO worth it: fresh chopped herbs. I used oregano, rosemary and sage. I also put in some dried pequin peppers (super hot) i recommend that highly.
  • sea salt
Heat over med/high heat until milk begins to boil slowly, stirring a LOT the whole time to prevent burning at the bottom. As soon as it reaches the slow boil remove from heat and pour in the vinegar a bit at a time. The milk should curdle instantly. Using a slotted spoon lift the curds into a cheesecloth lined colander (over a bowl or sink). Spoon out only a little curd at a time and add the chopped herbs and generous salt as you go to mix well. Stir the curds a bit (more like shifting them around) then pull up the ends of the cheesecloth, spin and press to drain. Because my milk wasn't whole, and i pressed a lot of the whey out, my cheese was a bit dry. I think i will not press as much whey out to keep a moister more spreadable cheese.
Be sure to save your whey. It is very useful in lacto fermenting, subbing for water or juice in recipes, etc. I saved some in specific tablespoon quantities in my ice cube trays to use later. I'll be making my whey biscuits again tonight, as well, to accompany our turkey/hominy stew.

I will be making this cheese about every time we buy a gallon of raw milk. SO good. Spicey and very herby. The herbs and salt also help to draw out more moisture as well as flavor. Make sure you add enough salt, or salt a bit more when serving, this is also a friable cheese.

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