Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Making Cheese

If you know me, you know that I *love* cheese.  It is my second favorite food.  (Bread is #1).  I have way too many favorite cheeses to list, but it's safe to say that over the course of my life I have eaten more cottage cheese than any other type of cheese.  So I knew that one of my 40 Things would be to make homemade cottage cheese.

I read through some online recipes and settled on this one by David Lebovitz.  The first step was measuring out one quart of whole milk.

 
As instructed, I brought the milk to 85 degrees, added the rennet, then let it sit at room temperature for four hours.

 
Here's the big reveal.

 
I made long slices in the mixture, then heated it gently until the curds separated from the whey.  Then I strained out the cottage cheese. 

 
Almost done!


I tasted it at this stage (yum!) and then chilled it for the recommended 1 hour.  I tasted it again (yum!) then added the cream and tried it again (yum!).  Goal #9 accomplished!

One of the other items on my 40 Things list was to make ricotta cheese.  In my research, I learned that ricotta is made using the leftover whey from making other cheese.  How convenient, as I had a bunch of leftover whey from making cottage cheese.  So I ended up making two different cheeses in one day.  I used this ricotta recipe by Jill McKeever.

It literally took five minutes.  I slowly heated the leftover whey to 200 degrees.

 
I poured it through a coffee filter and about two tablespoons of ricotta remained.  


I tasted it at this stage (yum!), then squeezed the remaining liquid out and tasted it again (yum!). I refrigerated it for an hour, then tasted the last tiny bit (yum!).  Goal #10 achieved! 
Out of curiosity, I measured the remaining whey.  


I started with 4 cups (1 qt) of milk and ended up with approximately 1 cup of cottage cheese, 2 tablespoons of ricotta cheese, and 2.5 cups of whey.  I used most of the remaining whey to make bread (replacing the water with whey).  Not a bad use of a quart of milk! 

7 comments:

  1. No wonder I love you so much... cheese and bread are my faves too! I loveeeeeee the pics!!

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  2. I too am a HUGE cottage cheese fan -- I love it mixed with V-8 juice!!! This is so cool!!!!

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  3. Very cool! It's great how you used every last bit of the milk. How did the bread turn out?

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  4. I would never have thought to put making cottage cheese on my bucket list. I do love it though and had no idea it was do simple. Great pics and great post. ;-). It's fun to see you making dents in your list of 40. You have such an interesting and diverse list.

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  5. What a neat idea! I really like the way you are keeping track of your 40 in your 40th year. Fun series!

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  6. This whole "40" thing is just great! I'm enjoying all of it. I can't wait until you turn 50, lol! Will you do another list??? Pat (scribe)

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  7. Ooooh I love to eat bread and cheese too! :) You are doing so well at crossing the things of your list....I wish I could try your cheese...

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