Wednesday, 12 February 2014
My cheese making adventure continued last week. The cheesemaking kit I have came with ingredients and recipes for some of my favourite cheeses and I'm slowly working my way through them all. So far I've made halloumi, feta, mozzarella, chevre and havarti. Its a bit addictive!
I can't believe how simple cheese making is, and yet how complex!
Some people might wonder why I bother making something I can buy so easily. (Though I know that others of you will be googling online where to get the kit!!!)
There's something about making basic foods that appeals to me, and it helps me understand and respect the good stuff. And I love knowing how all this amazing food alchemy works.
I'm looking at cheeses with a whole new eye, and marvelling!
I also believe the food we eat has a huge influence on our health, fitness and longevity. I'm trying to get away from processed food and cook with natural fresh ingredients more often these days. And so its great to use my own ingredients which I know are made with all natural and quality ingredients.
And it tastes pretty fantastic too!
Making mozzarella was quite a similar process to the halloumi (recipe here, video here), but once the basic curds are made and drained they go back into a heated whey and get warmed until they become stretchy. While they are still hot to touch (hence the gloves) you fold them and stretch them back and forth, which creates the stringiness you get inside a ball of mozzarella. Once they are smooth you push them through your hand to create the distinctive ball.
Fresh mozzarella is truly worth the effort, especially like this, chopped roughly in a salad of tomato and basil and with a simple oil and vinegar dressing. It was so delicious, soft and creamy! This one is definitely on the make again list!
Google as always is a great resource for info about anything and I have discovered a rich online cheese making world. For example this great site cheesemaking.com has picture posts showing the basic technique for mozzarella and other cheeses.
Of course I love having a kit because it gives me everything I need in one box, but you could easily put together the simple equipment and additives more cheaply by just buying the necessaries through one of the cheesemaking sites (green harvest, mad millie, oz farmer, cheeselinks - just google cheese kit for some different options.) You can alternatively get smaller cheaper kits to make a few of the easy fresh cheeses like ricotta, halloumi, mozzarella, to see if you enjoy it before splashing out.