Everyone that knows me for more than 2 days knows I love Bacon. Cheese, on the other hand, is a silent love affair. I never declare how much I crave cheese, I’ll never tweet about wanting a chunk of #taleggio and I won’t ever email my friends with links of cheese recipes. But I love it, I really do. My one of my favorite cheeses is Taleggio, an Italian soft and sticky and perfect when eaten with a fresh baguette by the chunks. M. and I made cheese this winter and the process was this, but resulted in a creamier cheese. We had used lemon juice instead of vinegar. I had previously said this was Ricotta but after a little research discovered it was closer to resembling Paneer, an Indian cheese, crumbly in texture. I love the fact that this is an incredibly easy process and the cheese is a blank canvas for you to flavor as you wish. After making it, I drizzled with extra virgin olive oil, crushed dried oregano, ground pepper and sea salt. Perfect!
Ingredients: 32 oz of whole milk, 1/4 cup of white vinegar, 1 tablespoon salt
Equipment: large pot, wooden spoon, big and small colanders, cheese cloth (or new handkerchief), large bowl, thermometer (optional)
Step 1: Heat your milk to 180F or until barely simmering. Small bubbles is what you are looking for.
Step 2: Turn off heat and add salt. Stir! Add vinegar and stir for 2 seconds to incorporate but no more. The milk will automatically curdle and you don’t want to break up the curds.
Step 3: Let cool (about an hour) and with a small colander transfer to cheese-cloth covered colander.
Step 4: Drain curds over large bowl for about 3 hours.
Step 5: Shape into a ball and let sit overnight.
Step 6: Remove from cheesecloth and serve drizzled with a mixture of olive oil, oregano, pepper or any flavorings you’d like to add. That’s the magic of this cheese! Flavor with any combination of oils and herbs, let sit and serve! Crumble over a salad of greens, roasted beets or simply eat with crackers. Those simple pleasures are normally the best.
Wasn’t that simple? Have you ever made cheese before? Go and make your own cheese and come back and tell me about your experience, what you flavored it with and how much you loved it! Happy Cheese Making!