Monday, October 12, 2009

Who'da thunk it?

"Cheese is nutritious food made mostly from the milk of cows but also other mammals, including sheep, goats, buffalo, reindeer, camels and yaks. Around 4000 years ago people started to breed animals and process their milk. That's when the cheese was born." (excerpt from cheese.com)



Yes, I did !


I needed some Farmer Cheese for a recipe I had, and I used to be able to find it once in a while in the supermarket. Lately, though, Farmer's Cheese must be out of fashion. So I had to take matters into my own hands. Again.

With my bff, the internet, I found many recipes to make my own Farmer Cheese.

Who knew? Who knew you could make cheese? Not me.

The above photo shows what it looks like when it's finished. Pretty cool.

Here's the recipe. (from www.eHow.com)

Farmer's cheese is made from basic kitchen ingredients. It is common on dairies, yet it is sometimes considered a gourmet cheese. If made from goat's milk, it is known as chevre. The French call it fromage blanc or white cheese. This cheese can be used as you would use cream cheese or cottage cheese.

Difficulty: Easy
Instructions

Things You'll Need:

  • 2 quarts Whole Milk
  • 2 cups Buttermilk
  • 1 tbsp. White Vinegar
  • Salt
  • Colander or Strainer
  • Clean Cheesecloth
  • Heavy Pot
  • Large Pot or Bowl
  • Storage Container with Lid
  1. Step1

    Put 2 quarts of milk in a large pot and bring it to 180 degrees over low heat, stirring frequently.

  2. Step2

    Add 2 cups of buttermilk and stir, then add the vinegar and stir. Turn off the heat and stir slowly until the mixture starts to separate. (This is what's called the curds and the whey. The whey is the watery stuff.)

  3. Step3

    Let it sit for 10 minutes. Do not disturb the mixture during this time. While waiting, line a colander with at least two layers of cheesecloth. (Who knew that cheesecloth was used for making cheese!)

  4. Step4

    Using a large spoon or ladle, put the curds (the solids) into the cheesecloth-lined colander.

  5. Step5

    Let the curds drain for at least an hour. Occasionally gather up the cheesecloth around the cheese to apply some pressure to the cheese to help it drain. You can also tie the cheese up in the cheesecloth to keep pressure on it.

  6. Step6

    Transfer the cheese to a storage container, add salt to taste, and store covered in the refrigerator for up to five days.(actually will last a little longer...But it's usually gobbled up by then.)

  7. It was soooo easy !! Try it!
Tips
  • Sweeten with sugar or flavor with fresh herbs. Use as a sweet breakfast alternative to yogurt or spread on bread or toast. Add berries for a tasty dessert. (spreads better when it's warm.)
I wanted to make a nice spread for snacking.

(Snack*ing: verb. 1.) An essential activity, scheduled every couple of hours, involving placing delicious food inside your oral cavity.
2.) A ritual to avoid death and/or boredom, whichever comes first.

So I used this recipe to achieve the above picture.

Farmer's Cheese with Honey, Raisins, Cinnamon and Toasted Walnuts

Recipe courtesy Dave Lieberman

Warm cheese is a comfort food if ever there was one. If it hadn't occurred to you, just think of Mac and Cheese and you should be on the same page with me.

Prep Time:
5 min
Inactive Prep Time:
--
Cook Time:
18 min
Level:
Easy
Serves:
4 to 6 servings

Ingredients

  • 1/2 cup toasted walnuts
  • 1 pound farmer's cheese
  • 2 tablespoons honey
  • 1/2 cup raisins
  • A couple dashes cinnamon
  • A couple pinches salt
  • Crackers or bread, for serving

Directions

Preheat oven 400 degrees F.

Lay walnuts on baking sheet. Roast and shake once or twice to insure even toasting. Roast until a shade darker and aromatic, about 15 minutes.

Remove walnuts and set aside to cool.

Turn the oven to broil.

Place farmer's cheese in large mixing bowl. Add the remaining ingredients and the toasted walnuts. Mix thoroughly. Transfer mixture to a small baking dish (aluminum disposable is fine).

Place under broiler until brown and bubbly on top, about 2 to 3 minutes.

Serve hot or at room temperature with crackers of any kind or slices of crusty bread.


Apparently, using something called Rennet, you can actually make your own mozzarella cheese!

Cottage Cheese and Ricotta are similar to farmers cheese. Cottage Cheese isn't drained as much.

AND THEN.....
You end up with a ton of what's called WHEY left over. You can drink it or use it in recipes.

I found a recipe for bread using Whey. Any recipe where you use milk, you can use up the Whey.

I made 3 loaves of bread this weekend using 4 C of the whey.

It's really quite amazing what a person can do. Even me.


And a-whey we go......


16 comments:

Kathleen said...

Been away for a bit. I have never tried farmer's cheese, but I am curious, so I will try to find some to try. I don't know if I am as adventureous as you to try to make some. Going back to your "Greeneville" post. I hae been almost everywhere in Maine...but I have never been to the Jackman-Greeenville area yet. Your photos make me want to go more than ever. It looks just charming, and the shops look like a lot of fun to browse in (mabe buy too). Those moose are deadly though. Hit them, knock them off their feet, and that big 1/2 ton or so body just comes screaming through your windshield. Bad news. We have a lot of car-moose crashes on interstate 95 between Medway and Lincoln. I try not to travel there after dark. Loved your post on Greenville. Thanks for sharing. Hugs, Kathleen

Carol @ TheWritersPorch said...

Who knew is right ! I never dreamed you could make cheese this way! You go girl!! :)
I'm going to hunt your Greenville post!

Deb Shucka said...

What a perfect thing to find on our first really rainy day of the season. This looks like fun and sounds like the ultimate comfort food. Love the cow pictures, too.

brattcat said...

There is no end to your creativity, energy, and resourcefulness. I'll just buy a little log of chevre and do my snacking without having to work so hard. But wouldn't I ever love to be a guest at your table. Mmm--mmmm-mmmm!

Birdman said...

Good Grief!
Are we talkin' whey now? Whey, whey, whey... Here's my suggestion- try a recipe using hops. Ah, a home-brewing concoction and I'LL HELP!

Pam said...

Hi Elenka, thanks for your visit and commment.Made me laugh. I do need a holiday.I'm starting to see human faces on cows!

Piecefulafternoon said...

Great post - and congrats on making the cheese - it looks great.

Fearless Nester said...

There's no end to the resourcefulness of us Maine gals! Loved this post...and you are so darn witty you always crack me up! Thanks for all that great info on cheese making, and that spread you made looks so yummy! Wonder what would make it last more than 5 days in the fridge though?

Lynda said...

Oh, you clever thing ! I've never tried to make cheese before ... I'm afraid it would be a complete disaster ! (P.S. Can I also just say how I love your sense of humour ?! In most of your posts I get glimpses of it & I bet you must be so much fun to be around in 'the flesh' too !)

♥ Braja said...

I've made this all the time for 20 yrs...I love it. If you want it to be softer, a nice cushion-like texture, use yoghurt to make the curds. IF you want a little nicer taste than vinegar, use lemon....

♥ Braja said...

You should be able to email me: if you click on my name it leads you to my profile, and on there it has an email. Anyway it's braja.sorensen@gmail.com :) Without the smiley :)

♥ Braja said...

But in answer to your question, this is an ancient Indian dish, I don't know where the farmers cheese title came in. It's called paneer....you boil the milk and add a curdling agent to made curds and whey; drain the curds from the whey and there's your "cheese." I use the whey for soups, as liquid in other dishes, and so on: like a stock. I freeze it or keep some in the fridge. We also sometimes make a Virgin Pina Colada with it :) Pineapple juice, whey, a dollop of cream, voila :)
The buttermilk seems to give it that little extra taste and creaminess, and is nice for a standalone cheese kind of thing. Paneer is used in cooking, usually in chunks, sometimes deep fried, but almost always warm. I just boil milk and add yoghurt or lemon juice as the curdling agent; I've never heard of vinegar being used, not over here. Citric acid sometimes in the west, that's one I've heard. But I don't like the taste of that. I love lemon, mostly... but yoghurt is really an opulent addition, makes the paneer soft and delicious. Did you know if the paneer squeaks on your teeth when you eat it, then it's perfect? :)

Balisha said...

Who knew...you little cheese maker you....and bread no less. We never know what talents we bloggers have.You are a comedian too...a-whey we go!!!

Debbie said...

I think this is great...in a world where fast and frozen food take precedence! We don't make enough home made things from scratch nowadays! Many people would not even try something like this! Good for you!!

Snippety Gibbet said...

Wow, you really DID make cheese. I feel pretty doofy, but I had no idea that you could do that. Yea for adventurous you!!! jan

Teri and the cats of Furrydance said...

Fun to read about, and great photos, too. I BBQ a great steak, make a mean Mojito but cheese? I will have to depend on the kindness of others and get something at the gourmet market...