My job has been related to cheese for more time than I'd like to think about or admit. But that being said, I love cheese. Being a foodie (god, can we come up for a different word for that?) I of course love eating cheese. But I really love to learn about cheese; sucking up as much knowledge about varieties, processes, terroir, science and the like as I can.
I've been wanting to make my own cheese for quite some time now. For Christmas, my lovely guy gifted me the book One Hour Cheese by Claudia Lucero. I've only had it for 4 days, but it's great so far. The writing and recipes are not only delicious-sounding but are clear and uncomplicated. In the introduction there's a recipe for a 30-minute cheese, and yesterday I made it. Because, duh.
I've made mozzarella once from a kit, and it was not a very good experience. We had quite a bit of uncertainty due to the instructions, and our resulting cheese was rubbery, weird-tasting, and never really broke down in your mouth. But making the 30-minute cheese--which was basically a farmer's cheese--was the total opposite. It was easy to make and best of all, really delicious. Here, look!
I slowly brought some milk up to a slight boil (this was the longest part of the recipe), lowered the heat and added some acid (I chose to use apple cider vinegar), causing the curds to begin separating from the whey, which you see on the left of the above photo. I lowered the heat a bit more and continued stirring for a couple more minutes. Then I drained the cheese really well, added salt, pepper and a few pinches of herbes de Provence et voila! There you have it on the right--my first successful cheese!! Eating warm, freshly made cheese is the best. This farmer's cheese is firm, ever-so-slightly squeaky to the tooth & really quite delicious. Woohoo!
My plan is to work my way through the book, making one cheese a week. I'll share it here because it (in theory) keeps me going. And I like writing, so there's that added bonus too. Plus, you know you love reading about cheese. Right? Right?!
Right. Til next time.