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Old 03-15-2013, 09:20 AM   #1
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Homemade Cheese?

Have many of you tried to make your own cheese? Is it worthwhile. Went into a specialized cookery store today, and saw a homemade cheese equipment. Granted most of it seems to aimed at soft cheese.

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Old 03-15-2013, 09:33 AM   #2
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I've made paneer and cottage cheese. Very easy and fun to make, I would say it's worth while.

Paneer can be made soft or firm. I make firm paneer and cut it into cubes.
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Old 03-15-2013, 10:27 AM   #3
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A few years back, I bought cheese molds and a press, with the idea I would make my own cheese. I've tried several and have had mixed success. By far, the easiest are fresh cheeses like cottage and ricotta. Mozzarella is relatively easy, too, once you get the hang of it.

Aged cheeses, like cheddar, blue, and washed-rind Camembert style are much fussier. They all require specific temperatures and, more importantly, the ability to hold the temperature steady for a fixed period of time. And once the cheese is made, you then need a place to store it where it can age for months within a specific temperature range. Standard refrigerators are too cold, and most cellars are too warm. This is where I ran into problems.

A friend of mine's wife makes a lot of cheese (some very nice ones) and what she did was take an old refrigerator and have it modified so the temperature could be held in a specific range. I've also heard of people using wine refrigerators. Or if you happen to have a cave...

At the time, I just didn't have the space, time, or money to invest. But some day I'm planning to pick up the hobby again.
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Old 03-15-2013, 10:53 AM   #4
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Mozzarella was dead easy, and it tasted exactly like the fresh mozzarella from the store. With no real advantage, it didn't save enough money to bother doing. Aside from parmesan, I mostly like sheep cheese, and I don't think I could make that with any reasonable amount of work for anything like the good price I get on the Italian imported.
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Old 03-15-2013, 05:07 PM   #5
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The possible advantage of making ones own mozzarella is that one could use organic milk, if one were so inclined. I haven't seen organic mozzarella. I can get good, organic cheddar. I think the health food store also carries organic brick.
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Old 03-15-2013, 09:17 PM   #6
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Mozzarella was dead easy, and it tasted exactly like the fresh mozzarella from the store. With no real advantage, it didn't save enough money to bother doing. Aside from parmesan, I mostly like sheep cheese, and I don't think I could make that with any reasonable amount of work for anything like the good price I get on the Italian imported.
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Boston is the closest port to Europe. As a result any food imported is much cheaper for us here than the rest of the country. Our imported Romano is $4.99 per pound and imported Parm is $5.99 per pound. That is right off the wheel. Yes, it has the stamped rind. I send a large wedge of each twice a year to my girlfriend in Atlanta. It didn't used to be, but now pasta has become part of her holiday meals just so she can show off her wedges of cheese.
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Old 03-16-2013, 01:42 PM   #7
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I've made ricotta--easy. I also tried making a soft goat cheese...probably would've been okay, but I didn't care for the flavor of the organic goat's milk I got. A friend used to make lovely soft cheeses using sheep's milk...she raised sheep. I have a friend in MN that makes a variety of aged and soft cheeses. She has her own dairy cows...organic milk would be very expensive for hard cheeses because of the quantity of milk one needs. I looked at organic raw milk, but the price / pound of cheese was outrageous. I would love to make hard cheeses, but can't justify buying the dairy cow or goat.
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Old 03-16-2013, 01:44 PM   #8
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I've made paneer and cottage cheese. Very easy and fun to make, I would say it's worth while.

Paneer can be made soft or firm. I make firm paneer and cut it into cubes.
My grandma used to make cottage cheese all the time. It was wonderful. I would like your recipe for firm paneer, PLEASE!
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Old 03-17-2013, 12:17 AM   #9
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My grandma used to make cottage cheese all the time. It was wonderful. I would like your recipe for firm paneer, PLEASE!
Paneer is the easiest cheese to make ever!

Just take 2 litres of whole fresh milk, bring to a simmer (it shouldn't boil) keep it just before boiling point. Add 2 tbsps of vinegar or lemon juice and allow it to split into curds and whey. Strain through a double layer of cheese cloth or muslin that you've placed in a strainer over a large bowl to catch the whey. Leave the strained curds in the strainer in the cloth. Place something heavy like a pot filled with cans on top. Allow to stand like this for an hour. Check to see how firm it is. If it's not firm enough just leave it a bit longer. Slice or leave whole and refridgerate well covered with plastic wrap to prevent drying out. The whey can be used as a starter for your next batch.

We love taking seasoned squares of this and frying them till brown on all sides and dipping in sweet chilli sauce etc or serving with salad.

You can also cook the cubes of cheese in Korma or other curry sauce instead of meat. Paneer doesn't melt in food. It keeps it's shape.
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Old 03-17-2013, 11:01 AM   #10
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Paneer is the easiest cheese to make ever!
This is aka farmer cheese. I made it from a Turkish cookbook once. It's practically tasteless since it's mostly milk and a bit of acid. I didn't find it worth the cost or effort but YMMV.
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