Tuesday, May 07, 2013

Farmer's Cheese

This is basically like cottage cheese (except strained), and not like ricotta. I like to use it for pizzas, for lasagna, and also for eating (if I remember to salt it. If I don't, I like to cook with it). Hope you enjoy!

1 quart of milk (you can use more and not change the amount of lemon juice, up to around a gallon of milk)
1/4 cup lemon juice (or less for a batch this small - up to you)

Heat milk to 185F. Remove from heat and stir in about 1/4 cup of lemon juice. Let sit for a few minutes to separate well into curds (it will look like curdled milk, because that's basically what it is). Line a strainer with cheesecloth then put the strainer over a bowl. Pour the curds and whey into the strainer, then tie the ends of the cheesecloth tightly around the curds. Tie the cheese to the knob of a kitchen cabinet or something similar, with the bowl (you can wash and put away the strainer now) under the cheese to catch the drippings. Come back in the morning and untie the cheese. You can salt it now and put it in a container if you like, or you can just eat it, or you can not salt it, or some other combination of the available options. 

Use the drippings (whey) first to make more cheese (ricotta), and then use it again (after you strain the ricotta) to make bread instead of using water or beer or whatever as your liquid. The whey will give your bread a sourdough flavor even though it isn't a sourdough. Makes about 1 cup of cheese.

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