Friday, March 15, 2013

Homemade Ricotta

Homemade Ricotta

Leftover whey from cheese
1/4 cup vinegar
1 gallon milk

LEFTOVER WHEY VERSION: Turn on fire and bring on the heat! I don't stir, I just walk off.  You'll notice clumps and bits heading to the top. Drain into cheesecloth lined colander.

MILK VERSION: Heat milk until almost boiling, remove from heat and add vinegar.  It should separate.  Drain into cheesecloth lined colander.

Can be frozen and used later. Fantastic for lasagna or stuffed shells.

Thursday, March 14, 2013

Homemade Mozzarella

You can easily double this recipe and save time!

Homemade Mozzarella

1 gallon whole milk (not ultra high pasteurized*)  - I use our own goat milk
1-1/4 teaspoons Citric Acid Powder (cow's milk recipe says 1-1/2 tsp)
1/4 teaspoon liquid rennet, liquid
1/2 cup cool water cool (divided in half)

salt to taste

Put the cool milk into a stainless pot, preferably a double boiler. Dissolve the citric acid into 1/4 cup of cool water. Stir into the milk. Bring the temperature of the milk to 88 degrees and remove from heat. Mix the rennet into ¼ cup cool water and stir into the milk for about 10 seconds.  Use the spoon to slow down the turning of the milk so it can rest.

Allow the milk to set for 10-15 minutes to coagulate. You should be able to press down on it and it should bounce back a little.  If you cut it with a knife it should break clean.  I always  start checking it at 8 minutes.

Using a large icing spatula cut into 1" grid vertically.
 Then use a bent ladle to cut to cut 1" horizontally.  Let rest for 10 minutes.
Place the pot of curds back onto heat and slowly bring the temperature of the curds to 108 degrees. Hold at 108 degrees for 35 minutes.  Since I use a double boiler it doesn't require much if any heat to hold that.
Stir every 5-10 minutes to keep the curds from matting together.
 They will slowly turn into a more curd like product.
Drain the curds into a colander for 15 minutes. SAVE THE WHEY for RICOTTA!!!
(While you are waiting fill a bowl with cool water. There needs to be enough to cover your cheese.) 
Place colander on a plate, sprinkle with salt.  I use about 1/2 teaspoon. Heat in the microwave for 50 seconds. Remove from microwave and work to mix the curds together. Return to microwave for another 25 seconds.
Divide mozzarella into the size you want.  Shape into balls.
 Place in cool water. Place in fridge until mozzarella is completely cool. 
I pat mine dry, then freeze on wax paper lined cookie sheets.  After they are frozen I use a vacuum seal system to put them in bags.  When thawed they are just as good as fresh.

Shredding the cheese....
for pizza!!

*The proteins in ultra high pasteurized milk have lost their ability to set into curds.

Wednesday, March 13, 2013

Homemade Sauerkraut

If you like sauerkraut you should try your hand at making your own.  It's easy to do and you can in it jars to have on hand for anytime.

Homemade Sauerkraut

In this ratio...
5 pounds cabbage
3 Tablespoons canning salt
As needed...Brine --1 quart water plus 1-1/2 Tablespoons salt (heated until salt dissolves, then cooled)