I think I will be making up for lost time for a while here. One of the things that I worked on whilst I was away was cheesemaking. Not hard cheeses, but lovely, soft farmer cheese. Mmmmm.
If you have not had this tasty delight, you are really missing out.
This morning I decided to make an herbed cheese. So, I snipped a bit of tarragon, chopped some garlic and a-whey I went. :)
Here is the recipe. You will amaze your families and friends by making your own cheese. Don't be intimidated, this is super, super simple.
Herbed Farmer Cheese
1 gallon whole milk (organic if possible)
1 T salt
2 T chopped tarragon
3 cloves garlic, finely chopped
1/4 tsp ground pepper
1/4-1/3 cup freshly squeezed lemon juice
Line a large colander with 4 layers of cheesecloth and place over a large bowl.
In a heavy-bottomed Dutch oven, pour in milk and add salt. Insert a candy thermometer on the side of the pot. Heat milk/salt mixture to 150 degrees on thermometer. Add tarragon, garlic and pepper.
Cook over medium heat until the milk is almost boiling, approximately 100 degrees Centigrade or 200 degrees Farenheit on the thermometer.
As soon as small bubbles appear along the edge of the pan, just before boiling, add lemon juice. If the milk does not curdle, heat it a bit more. You will be able to see the small, fine curds forming.
Pour your curdled milk/cheese into the colander and allow to drain. (It will take a bit of time. Be patient.)
If the whey is yellow, you have successfully removed all of the milk solids. If it is still white, you can repeat the process and add a bit more lemon juice. You will want to get every bit of cheese you can!
Once the cheese has drained, remove it to a small, covered dish and refrigerate. Serve with crackers and just a small tidge of pride at making something really cool!
Yeild: About 2 1/2 cups of soft, finely grained cheese.