Thursday, September 04, 2014

Make your own cheese

Home made cheese in salad
 I hail from Wisconsin, known in the US as “America's Dairyland.” We are famous for our spotted cows and all the milk, cheese, and butter they produce. Living in China, I find myself missing one food more than anything else—CHEESE! There are so many different varieties and I love them all. Unfortunately, decent cheese is both rare and expensive in Chengde, which made me get inventive. Why not try and make my own? It turns out it's actually easy to make a basic cheese. The following recipe will allow you to make your own, which resembles an India paneer or perhaps, if you are good at using your imagination, a Greek feta. It's probably best used to top a salad or pasta. If you are need of cheese and have a little time on your hands, give it a try!

1 liter/quart of whole milk (not skim)
60 mL (¼ c) vinegar
salt and pepper

  1. Over medium heat, heat milk in a pot until it's about to boil. Turn off heat.
  2. Pour vinegar into milk and stir. Milk will separate into curds (solid) and whey (liquid).
  3. Pour entire contents of pot through a clean dish towel or cheese cloth. Fasten cloth shut and hang it for 30 minutes, allowing whey to drip out.
  4. Take down cloth and open up to remove curds. Put curds in a pan and then place another pan on top of the cheese. Place a heavy object on top of the second pan. Let sit for 30 minutes. Pressure will remove extra liquid and give you a solid piece of cheese.
  5. Remove cheese and cut into cubes. Sprinkle with salt and pepper, if desired.
  6. Store in fridge for up to four days.
Curds after hanging for 30 minutes.

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