Tuesday, October 1, 2013

The almighty cheese

Life has many many simple and enjoyable pleasures. One of those said pleasures is the satisfaction of making your own cheese that is so elegant that it needs its own ramekin to be displayed in. It requires more energy to cook a pot of rice then it does to make fresh Flamage Blanc or what some of the traditionalists call Farmers Cheese. It is a very mild product that goes great with walnuts, grapes, apples, crackers and my absolute favorite, homemade artisan bread. The soft and creamy texture creates an amazing pairing with the crunchy crust and custardy crumb of homemade artisan breads, which i will have to post about soon. This is a BBQ and grilling site but, i think i can make an exception.

Ok, first, let me thank Chef John over at He is the one who gave an excellent video demo for this cheese. The recipe has been around for hundreds of years and many people have made it, but not one single person can get all the credit, however, Chef john gets my thanks and credit for the video he made demonstrating how to make the cheese.

There are two ways i know of on how to make these kind of cheese. This method and the method involving the use of raw milk. Raw milk these days is pretty healthy for you and with all the medical advances we have and technology we use, the chance of bacteria and other baddies getting in the milk is very rare.  I will explain the raw milk method at the end since it involves the same draining process as this method.

So lets start off with the ingredients:

NOTE. The amounts are crucial. Try the orginal amounts first THEN expeirment with cutting in half and so forth!!!

  • 1 quart whole milk (32 ounces). Does NOT need to be RAW milk. Pasteurized will be fine for this first method.
  • 1 cup cultured buttermilk. Must be cultured
  • 2-3 tsp lemon juice
  • Salt, pepper and other favorite herbs to taste. Remember, certain herbs go well with fruit while others dont. You may just want to try salt and pepper at first.
  • 4 pieces cheese cloth or a thin kitchen towel.
  • A plastic spoon. Not wooden. The wooden spoons tend to give off a fishy flavor when hitted up.
  • A strainer or colander
  • Meat thermometer. Make sure it is clean
 On medium heat, bring the milk to 175*F. Stir occasionally to prevent a film on top and bottom of the milk. It will begin to steam and have small bubbles around the edge.

Once heated to 175*F, turn off the burner and add the buttermilk and lemon juice. Stir and you will begin to see it coagulate and separate into solids. The liquid portion is whey and the solids leftover are the curds.

If it is not separating to well, add another tsp of juice. Let it sit for 10 minutes to continue the process. In the mean time, take a strainer and line it with the cheese cloth or towel. Place the strainer in a large deep bowl or pot, making sure that the bottom of the strainer is suspended in the air. Drain the cheese mixture.

This will catch all the curds and the whey will pass through the cloth. We want the cloth suspended in the air so it is not sitting in the whey. The cheese needs to drain all the whey err i mean way. Press the cheese softly with a spoon to get the rest of the whey out.

Let sit for 5 minutes and then roll up the cloth and squeeze or so very very gently. Hold above the pot or bowl for another minute or so. Just make sure most liquid is out.

Once it has drained, remove cheese from cloth into a bowl and mix in the salt and pepper. If you want to add other herbs, now is hte time. Just remember that not all herbs go good with fruits. You may have to do some googlin!

Once seasoned, place the cheese in a lidded container, or if you wanna get fancy.. place cheese in mini ramekins and cover with plastic wrap. Once covered, place in fridge for 6 or so hours to chill. If you want a depper flavor, let it sit for a few days.

Once chilled and rippend, remove from ramkins onto a plate with grapes, bread, and walnuts. Top with a drizzle of olive oil and fresh cracked pepper!

For the raw milk method, all you do is take the raw milk, place it in a glass bowl, cover it, and lit it set for 4 days until the curds and whey are separated. Drain and hang from a spoon across the stock pot.

Thats it. Season with chive and pepper.


No comments:

Post a Comment