Saturday, July 19, 2014

The Cheese, Gromit!

I embarked in a cheese making adventure this week. While in my French pastry chef phase, I was in AJ's looking for snobby chocolate couveture (they were a ridiculous $7 for fancy chocolate disks, but oh honey, they did taste good in those croissants), when I spied rennet tablets. I am one google search away from actually knowing what rennet actually is, but I did know it was necessary for making some cheeses. I had stumbled on a pinterest pin for ricotta and loved it because it only took buttermilk, cream, milk, and salt to make. Now armed with my rennet I could explore the world of mozzarella, feta, and cheddar. 

It sat in my cupboard next to the cheesecloth for 6 months. 

I blame the delay on the mobility of my second born.

But this week I went for it! And didn't get a picture of the finish product floating bloated in a pool of salted brine. This is the spongy fresh stuff that comes in balled in tupperware, not the shrink wrapped variety. I did get a picture of it on the pizza though and it was excellent!

Mushroom and Onion Pizza from here gets two thumbs up. The fresh basil and tomato is equally excellent as far as toppings go

The beauty of cheese making is you get to use the left over whey to make even MORE cheese. Not to mention and increased understand of Little Miss Muffet. You cook up the gallon of left over whey and you get a cup of ricotta. A little gross looking when it isn't prepackaged, but it makes up for it in flavor.

I felt bad tossing the left over whey after the ricotta and decided to save it for protein shakes. I don't know why the idea seems grosser than my chocolate whey powder, but I imagine it's probably better for you without all the other junk packed into protein shakes. 

If you want to try your own hand at fromagerie, here are the rennet tablets and they come with all the recipes inside the box. 


jeanene c said...

You will have to teach me the right way. I always just tried to resurrect the sour milk. Now you have me curious about rennet. I will have to look it up....see if my memory is right.

Todd said...

Google-less, but with information from his wife's own adventures, your brother says that rennet is an enzyme. Now, the source of that enzyme? Hmm, I think it is from the stomach of a cow or sheep. Could be wrong there (google could tell you) but that is my thought. Congrats on getting it to work. We had difficulty with store-bought homogenized milk. Perhaps you could provide any pointers you learned. Love you all.

Elena said...

Mmmm cheese. My favorite food group.

jeanene c said...

I was right, as are you Todd. An enzyme from a cows stomach. One part I didn't remember tho, it is from a calf's stomach. They are the ones with the enzyme to break down the milk, as the get older they lose the enzyme....duh. Should have figured that one out all by myself.


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