Thursday, 15 September 2011

I cheese, you cheese, we all cheese for home made cheese!

Cheese. Friend or foe - it always soars ridiculously high of my must eat list. It's delicious, it's salty, it makes almost everything taste better. Cheese is filled with mounds of fat and calcium - one for your bones and the other for your butt. You chose which one you would like to obsess upon while gorging on it's cultured goodness. I frankly, don't think about anything but how satisfied my tummy is going to feel after I coat it with molten cheesy love. 

This cheese recipe is super easy. It's the only one I've tried so the only thing I have to compare it's difficulty to is not trying it. Not trying it was pretty easy but trying it totally has a tastier outcome. I suggest the latter of the two. 

Bring 3 litre's or so of whole milk up to a nice warm temperature - chuck in roughly two tablespoons of salt - more or less depending if you are adding in a flavour or not. Take it slow to avoid scalding the milk. Get it to a point where small bubbles start forming at the sides. Take it off the heat and throw in 1/3 of a cup vinegar or lemon juice (the cheese will not taste like vinegar if you decide on that acid). Your cheese should rapidly curdle - but could take up to 10 minutes. Your liquid (whey) will be yellow and your cheese (curd) will be white. 

If this doesn't happen the first time around (which it didn't for me) skim off what milk did curdle and give it another shot making your milk temperature a bit hotter or adding in some extra acid. 

Once you've got a good looking cheese curd, drain off the whey using multi layers of cheese cloth placed over a sieve. We grabbed one long piece of cheese cloth which was like a tube, tied a knot in the middle and pulled the bottom piece over the top one to create two layers. 

Let this hang out for 20 minutes or so and then remove the sieve and give the cheese a good squish down into the bottom of the cheese cloth. Wrap it around something that will let it hang in the air. 

Give your cheese a squish every once and a while to help get it's juice out. Ours hung for around 2 hours. It turned out quite good. Had the texture of Ricotta and was fantastic in a fresh salad from the garden. Next time I will add in some chilli, cumin seeds or even some fresh herbs. Have fun with your cheese, and your new chubby physique. 


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