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Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Farmers cheese...

I understand that cheese is not something many would choose to take the time to make at home. And I also understand that making cheese is not for the culinary meek in the kitchen department.
However–to make your own cheese is oh-so gratifying. I cannot explain it really. To think–this is how the ancients did it, and have done it for centuries!
Well, maybe its not that big of a deal...although I feel like it is.
This isn't your aged cheese, so no cheddaring here. Its a rustic fresh cheese–often known as farmer's cheese.
So, this is where I learned, and after watching many videos, this guy's is the best. So watch it. I listed the ingredients and brief instructions below.
Video-How to make cheese.
I also included a log of our process in pictures. I recommend, this holiday weekend, gather the kids, make some time and do something like this. Make something that is back to its essence of process, no fake additives, no emulsifiers, no gelatins, or mass mechanization. You will be pleasantly surprised at how gratifying the process is and how enjoyable the end result (on crackers.) You might even think its simpler than you thought!

Ingredients and instructions:
Bring all ingredients to full room temperature before starting.

  • 1 cup buttermilk
  • 3/4 tsp salt
  • 1.5 tsp lemon juice
  • 1 quart of whole milk
  • Herbs
  1. Heat 1 quart of whole mlk over low heat to 175F.
  2. Then add buttermilk and lemon juice.
  3. Turn off the heat, stirring the whole time.
  4. The curds and whey will seperate.
  5. Stop stirring and let sit undisturbed for 10 minutes.
  6. Ready a strainer with cheesecloth (doubled).
  7. Ladel in curds and let sit to strain over a deep bowl for 5 minutes.
  8. Tie and hand for 30 minutes.
  9. Open the cloth, and salt and herb the curds.
Here is what I do with mine:
  • Mix with chopped olives and eat on toast
  • Stir with honey (omitting the herbs) for a creamy sweet spread
  • Use as ricotta in stuffed shells
  • Mix with plain yogurt (omitting herbs) for a cream cheese like spread
  • Eat on crackers with salami
  • Roll into balls then roll in herbs and serve as an appetizer

Pictures of our afternoon in the kitchen with cheese:

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