Confession time. The first incarnation of this cheese didn’t exactly go according to plan.
I’d originally intended to make a goat’s milk cheese because, well, who doesn’t love goat’s cheese?*
But somehow it failed to curdle (I blame Dog who was sleeping on his back nearby, all paws in the air waving madly as he twitched his way through a nightmare. It was very distracting).
I switched to cow’s milk and all was well, it curdled beautifully and gave a nice, moist flavourful cheese.
Proof that you don’t have to be a ruddy, hands-in-the-soil, earth mother type (or Little Miss Moppet) to know your curds from your whey.
Tips: experiment with other flavours such as parsley, thyme or tarragon.
*hubs, but that’s ok – more for me!
Garlic & Chive Cheese (makes about 2 cups)
*inspired by Journey Kitchen
- 1/2 gallon whole milk (of course raw and fresh would be best but I just used store-bought organic and it was fine)
- 3-4 tsbps fresh lemon juice
- 1 clove garlic, minced
- 2 tbsps fresh chives, finely chopped
- Bring the milk to a gentle boil in a large, heavy saucepan over a medium heat. It should be a rolling boil rather than a full out foaming mess. Let it gently bubble for a minute.
- Stir in the first tbsp of lemon juice, then the second. At this point it should turn a bit greenish but don’t despair if it doesn’t, just keep adding the juice. With the third, and final, tbsp of lemon juice it should start to separate into curds.
- Take the milk off the heat at this point and let the curds form gradually, separating from the greenish whey.
- Pour the curds and whey into a collander lined with cheesecloth. Carefully draw the ends of the cheesecloth together so that all the curds are caught in it and there’s no leakage. Tie the cheesecloth with some twine and suspend over a bowl or your saucepan.
- Leave it hanging for about 20 minutes as it drains off the whey (keep your whey, it’s great in smoothies, compost, or just to drink later).
- Take the cheese down and unwrap it from the cheesecloth. It should still be a bit sloppy at this point, that’s ok. Transfer to a bowl and fold in the garlic and chives. Bundle back into the cheesecloth and suspend again as before.
- Let it fully drain for a further 10 minutes then take down and place between two heavy objects to further drain and flatten into its round shape. I put mine between two cutting boards and put a saucepan on top for extra weight. Don’t get too excited and build your own Jenga tower – if it’s too heavy the cheese will become dried out.
- Let it sit like that for 40 mins then remove from cheesecloth and eat or store in the fridge for later. It keeps for up to a week.
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This post also appeared on the Weekend Gourmet Blog Carnival