Posts Tagged Cheese
Continuing with the Urban Farm Challenge and the cheese theme for March I am making mozzarella. This is my first time making this. I was a little worried as more ingredients are needed than the last cheese I made, including the dreaded rennet. Luckily I found a vegetarian rennet. I wanted to follow this recipe from Andrew at Eating Rules but not having a microwave I had to look elsewhere, most recipes are similar, it’s the technique that varies.
I went with this recipe as it seemed easy to follow. This recipe worked like magic, the milk thickened like yoghurt as it said it would, the curds separated from the side of the pan just it said it would. Then I ran into a little trouble, I made my mozzarella into balls and sat them in the ladle to dip into the hot whey as I was told but my cheese was slow to get to the stretch and the last ball just wouldn’t stretch at all. I will say for a first try at mozzarella it was a moderate success. I have ended up with cheese that is a messy mozzarella. Mine didn’t stay in a ball but flattened out. It has a harder texture than store-bought mozzarella, maybe I over kneaded? However what it lacks in looks it makes up for in taste. It tastes good, mild and creamy like mozzarella should taste. I will be trying this again and hope to improve the shape and texture. If any cheese makers can help me out with these things and advise me where I went wrong, that would be great.
Mozzarella made from this recipe at Mother Earth News
The curds separating from the whey
Stretching the mozzarella, who knew I would own a pair of rubber gloves especially for cheese-making!
My mozzarella, slightly flat but it tastes good!
There is a part of me that would love to live on land and be near self-sufficient. Little House on the Prairie was one of my favourite tv programs growing up and I adored the books! Having always lived in cities, even as a child I loved the idea of space and growing your own food, like in Little House on the Prairie. The nearest I got to churning butter with my mother like Laura Ingalls did with hers was whipping cream with the hand-held whisk (you know the one where you turned the handle?) I remember thinking ” if I keep whipping will I get butter?” of course my hands always got too tired and my child’s mind wandered. I still havent made my own butter, watch this space!
When I saw the Urban Farm Challenge on the Sustainable Eats blog my interest was instant! It’s a year-long challenge to help eat healthier, local food. This is something that has been on my mind for a long time and is already part of my life but there is always more to learn. I signed up right away only to fail the first task, that was to improve your soil. I did order a free compost bin from the council, free! People if you have big enough gardens see if your local council give free compost bins! The bin they delivered was huge, too big for my garden so that was that! The home dairy task for March was one I was most looking forward to, making cheese.
The lovely Andrew from Eating Rules set a challenge with a recipe for Lemon cheese. It could not be easier! 3 ingredients, 4 if you want to add herbs. Warm the milk, add the lemon juice, wait, strain, cheese! I have made this twice now it’s so good. The first time I did not have a thermometer so don’t worry if you don’t have one as it still works. Just heat the milk until almost boiling point when bubbles are all around the edge of the pan. The 2nd time I did use a thermometer and was pleased to see that when I judged the milk to be almost boiling pretty much matched the 175F temperature the recipe states. This really is easy and satisfying. The cheese produced is not overly lemony, its creamy and perfect for matching up with stronger flavours like chutney, tomatoes. The best thing is no unwanted added ingredients, choose the best quality milk you can and you have something pure and simple that you made yourself. What could be better?
Straining the curds
After the straining