Sunday, September 02, 2012

Adventures in Cheese Making

I got a deal on a cheese-making kit online -- rennet tablets, citric acid, a cheese thermometer and a cheesecloth -- enough to make over 30 pounds of the either mozzarella or ricotta.

One gallon of milk produces around 1 pound of cheese -- the milk is cooked while reacting with the rennet and/or citric acidMy first attempt at mozzarella didn't go so well. There were 2 things I attributed it to: #1 I think I stirred too vigorously (I'm Chinese, when you tell us to stir, we stir -- an integral part of wok cooking), so that I didn't let my curds set up enough. #2 was I don't think I heated up my curds enough to be able to stretch them properly.  So I ended up with something dense and more the texture of cream cheese (without the cream cheese flavor).    

Attempt #2 was better. my curds definitely separated and got stretchy, and formed a nice ball.  Cutting off warm slices, it was quite tasty.  However, put in the fridge overnight, the texture changed and got dense and lost that great springy chewiness.  

So the 3rd time around, I decided to go with the easier ricotta.  I drained a small batch to eat right away (hung in a cheesecloth like a scrotum over my sink).

We had it with grilled tomatoes on semolina.  And I let the rest of the pot of curds drain a bit longer, leading to a nice batch of rich creamy ricotta.

1 comment:

Dimple said...

very humourous... i like your style of writing... i laughed when you described hanging the cheese, 'scrotum' style..