Friday, June 5, 2015

Mozarella without fringes !

Cheese-pedition as I called it yesterday ! I am one to go to or swing by my neighbourhood Nature'sBasket to buy my cheese. Every since I first attended a cheese part back in Belgium - where I was exposed to 20 different cheese on a platter I realised what a big deal this whole cheese business it. We only knew of amul and Britannia and the cheese world came to a screaching halt !

My second host mom is an experienced cheese-maker and in the few months I lived with her an an Exchange Student, I've watched her play with curds and whey, experimenting with a vast assortment of exotic cheeses. It's definitely one of those things that gets better with practice. Many things can go wrong and they probably will. So I suggest starting with a simple cheese in the beginning, like mozzarella. Plus, it doesn't need to age. Instant gratification!

Here are the basic steps...

1 gallon of raw or unhomogenized whole milk (not ultra-pasteurized)
2 tsp citric acid dissolved in a ¼ cup of cool distilled water
½ vegetarian rennet tablet dissolved in a ¼ cup of cool distilled water
2 ml of calcium chloride (optional: some say this helps if using store-bought milk)
Salt to taste
5 to 10 ice cubes

Steralize all equipment with boiling water before use.
Poor milk into a large pot.
Stir in diluted citric acid (and optional calcium chloride) into cold milk.
Heat slowly to 90˚F (32˚C), stirring gently.
Take pot off burner, stir in diluted rennet, and let sit for 30 minutes.
When solid, gently cut curds with a long knife into 1 inch cubes (should make a clean cut).
Put pot back on stove and slowly heat curds to 90˚F (42˚C).
Take pot off burner & prepare two bowls of water: one boiling, one cold w/ ice cubes & salt.
Using a slotted spoon, separate the curds from whey into a cheese cloth lined colander.
Scoop curds and submerge them in the hot water bowl (or you can microwave for 1 min).
FUN PART: Stretch and kneed curds with your hands until it has a smooth elastic texture.
Form curds into balls and place them in ice water bath for 10 min before eating. Or eat hot!

There is nothing better than a caprese salad with your own homemade Bocconcini. I mixed them in with yellow cherry tomatoes, fresh basil, lemon, olive oil, salt and lots of black pepper.

Here are 3 cheese-making kits I recommend for your very first batch, all of which I've never personally used or gifted to others but have seen in peoples home of on some famous blogs that i follow !!
Mad Millie
Urban Cheese Craft
New England Cheese-Making Supply Co.


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