Tuesday, February 10, 2009

homemade cheese

The one sort of odd thing about joining the raw dairy club is I don't actually drink milk at all. I use a little in oatmeal or the infrequent times I eat cereal for the last 10+ years I've used non dairy milk mainly. I do love cheese though, and have begun to be more adventurous with it especially as I travel more through Spain and learn more about the regions and the specific details of the typical cheeses of those regions. And now that I've learned more about the benefits of raw dairy and the negative effects of too much soy, I'm eager to incorporate more into my diet. All the recipes I've read about making cheese have seemed fairly easy so having these wonderful and fresh products gave me the perfect incentive to finally give it a try. I used Mark Bittman's recipe in How To Cook Everything Vegetarian as it's my current go to book for almost anything that I want to get right. The instructions are coherent, the ingredients simple and I've always always had good success with it. Here is his recipe:

Fresh Cheese
  • 1 1/2 gallon whole milk
  • 1 quart buttermilk
  • 2 tablespoons salt
  1. In a large sauce pot with a heavy bottom heat over medium high until it starts to boil, stirring consistently so as not to burn the bottom of the pot, about 10 minutes
  2. Line a strainer with three layers of cheesecloth, get string or rubber band ready
  3. add buttermilk to the boiling milk solids should start to form "curds" and "whey". It will look sort of like cooked egg whites suspended in a slightly thick yellowish liquid. Remove from the heat and stir in salt.
  4. Pour mixture though cheesecloth and let curds collect and whey drain off. Run cold water over it so it's easy to handle and squeeze out whey until bundle feels firm.
  5. Tie string or rubber band to close the cheesecloth and fasten to a wooden spoon and suspend over a bowl or pot to let drain for about an hour.

The cheese was so fresh and clean tasting, largely I'm sure do the the high quality of the dairy but also because it's hell of fresh! It's almost like mozzarella in it's cold texture but when I heated it it didn't seem to melt like mozz, that's cool though! Seriously, the best thing about this is how easy it is. It might be sweet for a party to cut it into cubes and marinate it in herbs and olive oil. You're friends will be like: "what??!!"

1 comment:

  1. I totally made this tonight. it was so much faster and easier than i imagined it to be. and fun.

    there was a shitload of whey leftover after you are done so I looked up what you can do with it all and it turns out it works great in lots of things like say, bread, which I was just about to make!

    you use the whey in place of the water in the recipe.

    I suggest looking up ideas of what you can do with it before you begin making cheese so you can plan your next attack. apparently you can also make ricotta with the whey. next time!