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Old 01-10-2005, 11:19 PM   #11
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For the beginning cheesemaker, it's best to start out with something like ricotta (from milk not whey). Ricotta (which is then pressed to form panir/queso blanco) is one of the simplest cheeses to make.
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Old 01-10-2005, 11:25 PM   #12
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I have had some unpastuerized cheese before. Back when I was in college, one of my Chef-Instructors mentioned that there was a Dairy not to far away, that was the only Dairy licensed by the State of Oklahoma to produce non-pastuerized milk and cheese. I've done a side-by-side taste test on pastuerized cheddar vs. unpastuerized cheddar. Let me tell you, the unpastuerized stuff beats the regular stuff hands-down.

BTW, if you take a look at a globe, you'll notice that most of the areas of the world that consume hot, spicy stuff, are tropical and sub-tropical areas. Hot foods make you sweat, which in turn cools you off. Therefore, in hot areas, eat spicy foods to cool you down. At least, that's how I learned it.
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Old 01-12-2005, 12:15 AM   #13
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Here are some of the cheese recipes I've found. There are many more plus a rather daunting tutorial, which I'll be glad to post if anybody would like them.

Queso Blanco Recipe
...
This is by far the easiest cheese to make. Called Queso Blanco in the Spanish speaking (it means "white cheese") world it is used throughout the world by different names. It can be eaten straight or mixed in with various dishes. Try it in your lasagna recipes instead of Ricotta or in addition to it. Yum!

INGREDIENTS
. 1 Gallon Whole Milk
1/4 Cup White Vinegar**
.
Heat milk to 180 F (82 C) stirring constantly. Be careful not to burn the milk.
While mixing with a whisk, slowly add the white vinegar. You will notice the milk begins to curdle.
Keep stirring for 10-15 minutes.
Line a colander with a fine cheesecloth.
Pour the curdled milk through the colander.
Allow the curds to cool for about 20 minutes.
Tie the four corners of the cheese cloth together and hang it to drain for about 5 - 7 hours (until it stops dripping).
The solidified cheese can be broken apart and salted to taste or kept unsalted.
** The juice of 3-5 lemons may also be used in substitute or addition to the vinegar. The resulting cheese will have a much more tangy flavor.



EMERIL’S HOMEMADE HERBED CHEESE
Yield: 4 servings

Recipe courtesy Emeril Lagasse, 2002
Show: Emeril Live Episode: Emeril's Herb Garden


1 quart whole milk
1 cup buttermilk
2 teaspoons fresh lemon juice
2 tablespoons finely chopped fresh sage leaves

In a medium pot, combine the milk, buttermilk and lemon juice and bring to 112 degrees F over low heat. Cook without simmering until the liquid separates into solid curds and whey, 45 to 50 minutes. Remove from the heat.

Using a slotted spoon, transfer the solids to a fine mesh strainer or colander lined with cheesecloth. Bring up the 4 corners of the cheesecloth and tie them together. Gently twist to extract as much liquid as possible. Place over a bowl and let drain in the refrigerator until thick and the liquid has drained away, about 30 minutes. Twist again to extract as much water as possible. Remove the cheese from the cheesecloth, wrap, and place in a bowl. Add the sage and season with salt and white pepper, mixing to combine.




LEMON CHEESE

1/2 gallon pasteurized milk

4 Lemons, juiced

Cool/heat milk to 145F.

Add lemon juice and stir well. Let set for 15 minutes.

Pour through cheesecloth-lined colander. Tie corners together to make a bag and let hang until curds top dripping.

Pour into bowl and lightly salt- then refrigerate. Enjoy.



COTTAGE CHEESE
(traditional)

1 gallon pasteurized milk

1/2 C. buttermilk

1 1/2 tsp. salt (or less to taste)

1/2 C. cream or Half & Half

1/2 Rennet tablet or 1/4 tsp. liquid rennet, dissolved in 1/4 C. warm water.

Cool/heat milk to 86F. Add buttermilk. Stir in rennet tablet/liquid dissolved in water. Stir for 1 minute. Cover and let stand on stove until curd forms.

Cut into 1/2" cubes. Heat slowly until curds reach 110F, stirring gently every few minutes.

Hold at 110F for 20-30 minutes stirring occasionally.

When curds are firm (like scrambled eggs) pour into cheese cloth. After most of the whey drains off, lift curds in cloth and immerse in ice-cold water for 1-2 minutes. Break up curds with hand or spoon.

Let drain in cloth. Remove curds from cloth and place into a bowl. Add salt and mix well. Add cream or Half & Half. Chill.



RICOTTA CHEESE
(Crockpot Method)

2 qts. milk

1 tsp. salt

1/2 tsp. sugar

1 C. buttermilk

3 T. white vinegar

Put milk into crockpot on high heat. Cover and let heat until just warm to the touch (45 minutes or so).

Stir in salt, sugar and buttermilk. Cover and heat again for 15 minutes. Milk will be just warm to the touch.

Add white vinegar and stir for a few minutes until milk clabbers.

Cover and cook on high until mixture comes to a boil. (1-1 1/2 hours)

Remove lid and let stand for 30 minutes.

Turn out into a cheesecloth-lined colander and let drain. There will be lots of liquid. Retain some to store the ricotta in.

Makes 2 1/2 - 3 cups.





RICOTTA CHEESE
(Stove Top Method)

(Use ingredient list from "Crockpot" recipe.)

Choose a heavy-bottomed pan with the capacity for at least 4 quarts.

Heat milk until just warm.

Stir in salt, sugar and buttermilk.

Heat again until just warm.

Add vinegar and stir until milk clabbers.

Reduce heat to simmer and let milk come to a full boil without stirring.

Remove from heat and let stand for 15 minutes.

Pour into a cheesecloth-lined colander to drain for 3 or 4 minutes. Catch and reserve a little liquid in which to store the cheese.



FETA CHEESE

5 quarts goat milk

5 drops liquid rennet

Warm 5 quarts of 2-day old, but sweet, goat milk to 72-75F.

Place 5 drops of liquid rennet in a little warm water. Stir this into the milk. It should firmly set in 1 hour.

Cut the curd into 1/2" cubes.

Pour the curds and whey into another container lined with cheesecloth. Draw the 4 corners together forming a bag. Remove curds from the whey and hang to drain. (Don't squeeze! Let it drip).

When it has stopped dripping, place the curds in a cheese press and weigh it down only slightly. (3-5 pounds pressure)

Press the cheese for about 12 hours. Cut into cubes about 3" square, then...

Brine for Feta Cheese:

Add 10 ounces* salt to 2 quarts water. Bring this to a boil, then let it cool.

Put the squares of cheese in a crock or jar and cover with the cooled brine solution.

Brine (sock) the cheese for 3 days. Then remove and rinse with cold water.

Cover with cheesecloth and refrigerate.

*This results in a very salty cheese (typical of Feta). For a less salty taste, try reducing the amount of salt in your brine.



CHEDDAR CHEESE

1 gallon pasteurized milk

4 oz. buttermilk

1/4 tsp. rennet tablet dissolved in 1/4 c. water

Cheese color

Salt to taste

Cool/heat milk to 88F. Add buttermilk and stir.

Ripen for 1 hour.

If yellow coloring is desired, add at this time. Then, add rennet mixture and stir for 1 minute. Allow mixture to set for 30 minutes.

Cut curds into 1/2" cubes with curd knife.

Wait 5 minutes, then gently stir curds and heat slowly to 102F. This should take about 75 minutes. Do not exceed 102F.

Ladle curds into colander and drain for 5 minutes, then cut into even number of slices, about 1 1/2" thick.

Keep cheese warm by placing on a metal pan and place inside a slightly larger pan into which you keep hot water. (similar to a double boiler-type method) Put lid over curd slabs to keep heat in and curds warm.

Turn slabs of cheese every 15 minutes, for 1 hour. Then double up the stacks and turn once every 30 minutes for 1 hour.

Break slabs into 1/2" cubes and mix in salt with hands or spoon, in approximately 3 equal stages.

Drape muslin cloth into cheese mold and fill with salted curds. Press lightly (3-5 lbs. pressure) with hands, then remove from press and turn over. Press lightly again, then turn over once more. Apply light pressure for a few minutes, then heavier pressure until full pressure is applied (8-12 pounds).

Leave in press overnight.

Remove cheese from press and let air dry at room temperature until the outside is dry. (12-24 hours). Remove muslin cloth.

This cheese is delicious to eat right away or may be aged at 55-60F for 2 to 3 months, turning daily.



MONTEREY JACK CHEESE

1 gallon pasteurized milk

2-4 oz. buttermilk

1/4 tsp. rennet

Cool/heat milk to 88F. Add buttermilk and stir.

Ripen for 15 minutes.

Mix 1/4 tsp. rennet with 1/4 C. cool water and add to milk. Stir for 1 minute. Allow to set, undisturbed, for 30 minutes to allow curd to develop.

Cut curds into 1/2" cubes and let stand for 5 minutes.

While stirring gently, heat slowly for 1 hour. Try to increase temperature about 2F every 5 minutes. Do not exceed 100F. Shut off heat and stop stirring.

After curds have sunk to bottom of pan, remove whey to 1" above curds.

While stirring, add cold water to reduce temperature to 85F. Stir curds an additional 5 minutes.

Drain curds well. Add canning salt or plain un-iodized salt to taste.

Place curds into a sterile muslin cloth. Shape into a ball and tie ends tightly with a string.

Flatten ball and place on a dinner plate. Place a 2nd plate, upside down, on top. Apply medium weight (6-8 pounds) atop second plate. Press over night at room temperature.

Carefully remove cloth the next day.

Air dry cheese by placing on a clean cloth towel and covering with cheesecloth. Turn cheese until it is dry on the outside.

You can either wax and age this cheese for 2 weeks to 2 months, or, eat it fresh.

***Before pressing, you can add peppers, olives, caraway seeds - anything you think sounds good. Be imaginative. Give it your unique signature.






COLBY CHEESE

1 gallon pasteurized milk

3 oz. buttermilk

1 color tablet dissolved in 2 T. water

1/2 rennet tablet or 1/4 tsp. liquid rennet, dissolved in 1/4 C. cool water

Salt to taste

Add buttermilk to milk at room temperature. Let stand at least 4 hours.

Heat/cool milk to 86F. Add color, stir thoroughly. Raise temperature of milk to 88-90F. Add Rennet and stir well. Cover pan and remove from heat. Allow to stand for 30 minutes.

Test for curd development. (Curd is formed when clean break appears.)

Cut curd into 1/2" cubes. Stir the curd gently for 15 minutes

Cook curds by raising temperature to 102F over a 20-30 minute period. Hold temperature for 30-40 minutes, stirring every 3-5 minutes. The curd should look like scrambled eggs.

Drain curds in a colander lined with cheesecloth. Salt curds to taste (3-5 tsps.) Continue to drain whey for another 20 minutes.

Press curds for 12-24 hours, using progressively heavier weight (6, 12,20 then 30 pounds approximately, turning cheese between each progression) until no whey drains.

Remove from press and air dry for 1-3 days, under cheesecloth, turning to ensure even drying. You can eat fresh or age 30 days. If you choose to age this cheese, it is nice to wax it after it air dries.
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Old 01-12-2005, 06:42 PM   #14
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Re: adding acids to precipitate cheese.

As much as a recipe is a good ballpark, never go by the amount of vinegar/lemon juice they say to add to milk in order to curdle it.

Old milk curdles a lot easier than fresh milk does. Also, milk, being a natural product, can vary greatly from brand to brand/season to season. If you add more acid than is necessary to curdle, the additional acid will make your cheese tough. Same thing with exposing the curds to too much heat after they separate.

Add a glug of vinegar, stir, wait a second, and see what it does. Repeat. Once it separates, stop adding acid. This trial and error method will produce much better results than following a recipe.

Rubbery queso blanco/paneer is very easy to do. Tender queso blanco, on the other hand, can be a little bit tricky.
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Old 01-12-2005, 07:58 PM   #15
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Ummm - what's a 'glug' measure out to? :)
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Old 01-13-2005, 07:33 AM   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by marmalady
Ummm - what's a 'glug' measure out to? :)
2.3514 T. ;)
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Old 01-13-2005, 08:06 AM   #17
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Old 01-13-2005, 11:46 PM   #18
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Marmalady, I'm sorry, I thought you were poking fun at me, when it's possible that you might not be familiar with the term 'glug,' hence my smart alecky response :) With only the written word to go by (and emoticons), sometimes it difficult to tell if someone is having you on or is actually seeking clarification. Again, my apologies.

What I was saying previously was that because of the variable nature of milk, instead of following the amount of acid a recipe states, just add a little bit at a time (aka a 'glug'), until the milk separates. That way you're not adding too much acid/toughening the curds.
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