Tag Archives: cheesemaking

2011 Cheese Class Schedule- Feta and Cultured Chevre added!

feta cubes

Feta Cubes Curing in Salt

Happy New Year everyone! Hope you’ve had some time to reflect on 2010 and dream about 2011 and beyond…if your dreams include learning to make cheese, check out the classes I will be leading this year by following the links below. I added some new ones as you’ll see; you can learn to make feta, cultured chevre and even easier cheeses.

Classes through the Urban Growth Bounty series– hosted by the Portland Bureau of Planning and Sustainability
These are demos, so you will see the process and taste the results. 15 slots available per class. Beaumont Middle School

Mount Hood Community College Community Education– David Douglas High School
These are hands-on classes. Students are paired up and work in real Home Ec. kitchenettes! 12 slots available per class.

Paneer

Paneer, a mild, no-fail cheese is great for beginners and fun to make with kids but it’s so delicious and versatile that advanced cheese makers and cooks around the world love it.

 

One gallon makes a lot of Paneer!

 

It is unique because though it softens, it doesn’t really melt. Paneer actually absorbs seasonings and sauces that surround it. This makes it a perfect tasty additions to curries, pasta dishes, saucy enchiladas, kabobs and any recipe that calls for tofu or chicken. With this simple recipe you can make it in less than an hour!

Paneer

Ingredients:

1 gallon milk

2 tsp citric acid or 8 tbsp lemon juice- no acid or water
(to purchase citric acid or a complete Paneer and Queso Blanco Kit visit our SHOP.)

2 tsp Cheese salt (to taste)


Supplies:

Large pot- at least 6 quart

Butter Muslin (fine cheesecloth)

Colander

Large Slotted spoon


YIELD- 1 ¾ to 2lbs.


Step 1- Measure the citric acid into 1 cup of cool water and stir. Let it sit and dissolve.

Step 2- Heat the milk in your pot stirring often to prevent scorching at the bottom. Heat until you see foam and steam (190˚F). Do not allow to boil.

Step 3- Turn the heat to low, before the foam subsides, drizzle in the citric acid solution in and watch the magic! Cook for 1 minute, stirring gently.

Step 4- Remove from the heat and continue to stir gently. The curds are white and the whey should be yellowish green. If the whey is whitish, sprinkle a pinch more citric acid in the pot.

Step 5- Once you get a clear separation of curds and whey, let the pot sit undisturbed for 10 minutes.

Step 6- Pour the curds into a colander lined with cheesecloth. Gently twist the top of the cloth to squeeze out extra whey. This is the time to add salt or optional herbs for savory dishes.

 

salting curds

salting the curds

 

Step 7- Rest the bundle in the colander, cover the curds with the cloths corners and place a plate and a weight (such as a gallon of water) on top and press for ½ hour-1 hour.

Step 8- Unwrap the cheese and refrigerate in a covered container for maximum firmness. You can cut it, cook with it, eat it as is and store it in the refrigerator for up to 1 week. Try browning a small piece in a little olive oil, salt and pepper…yum!

Oh! You can also make sweet cheese desserts using Paneer (check out the Ras Malai videos on our home page ‘World Cheese Tour’ or go to YouTube and search for Ras Malai)

Lots of classes in 2010

You will make this and more!

Classes at Urban Farm Store and the City of Portland’s Urban Growth Bounty Program

Learn to make fresh, easy mozzarella at the Urban Farm Store– $40 per person, in-class samples & recipe/instructions included. Thursday, February 18, 2010- 6-7:30pm

Please RSVP with your phone number at UrbanFarmStore@gmail.com. You will receive a call for payment.

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I just signed on to teach a series of cheese making classes through the Urban Growth Bounty 2010 program presented by the City of Portland Bureau of Planning and Sustainability. Check out a little clip of our first class in local news!

They also offer neat classes in beekeeping, preserving produce, organic gardening and more.

Check out the schedule on my Classes page but register easily ONLINE. I hear the class on paneer sold out every time last year so don’t dilly dally, seats are limited. Hope to see you there!

You’re not dreaming, it’s a cheese FESTIVAL!

The Wedge Cheese Festival is taking place in Portland, OR on October 3, 2009! How amazing is that?

Build your own grilled cheese sandwich!

Build your own grilled cheese sandwich!

Dozens of cheesemakers from the Pacific Northwest will
gather (with samples no doubt!), seminars will be offered, there will be
a build your own grilled cheese sandwich station and yours truly will
lead a Queso Blanco demo at 11am. Don’t miss it!

Mozzarella Demonstration- Free at Foster and Dobbs!

Hi all, please join me at the cheesemaker’s group on Wed. September 9 at 7:30pm at Foster and Dobbs here in Portland, OR where I will give a simple mozzarella demo. All are welcome, there is no charge, it’s just an informal skill-share.

Yes, you too can make this!

Yes, you too can make this!

I’m excited to announce that Foster and Dobbs Authentic Foods now carries Urban Cheesecraft DIY Goat Cheese Kits and Paneer and Queso Blanco Kits.

They are an A M A Z I N G specialty foods and cheese shop, think organic chocolate, delicious olives, smoked salts and even, yes, saffron pollen, all from small, artisanal producers. Can you imagine a Foster and Dobbs picnic? Um, I can!

So easy, so beautiful…so franch! Chevre is pretty no?

I just had to share these lovely goat cheese photos with you. These 3 little cheeses are the yield you get with the recipes I include in the goat cheese kit. A half-gallon of goat milk, a 1/4 C of vinegar, a variety of herbs and spices and you have a cheese tasting for several friends!

cheese talk on the radio!

Hello cheesemakers! Just wanted to let you know something kind of funny, I’m going to be interviewed about cheese making and my cheese kits on a small Internet radio station this Thursday, May 21. It’ll be a show called Chocolate Covered Bacon through http://artisanshoppe.com/, 3pm Pacific Time, 6pm Eastern Time.

Click install or listen live depending on your set-up and you should be good. It won’t be riveting or anything but it’s kinda cool especially if any of you want to promote your handmade goods too. They’re all about artisans of all kinds. Tell them I sent you!

Also, I’d love to hear from those of you who have already received and tried your cheese kits. Please post on this blog or email me with questions, ideas, feedback, testimonials etc. Thanks and happy cheese making,

Queso Blanco

Queso Blanco is the easiest of all cheeses to make in my opinion- great for beginners and kids!

Thick and Crumbly Queso Blanco

Thick and Crumbly Queso Blanco

 

To use this cheese in salads I drizzle a little olive oil in a cast iron pan, sprinkle the cheese with salt, pepper, sometimes chili powder (any herbs and spices you like), brown it (it uniquely doesn’t melt, just browns and gets soft and chewy) and then add the crusty warm chunks to our salads. Use any dressing you enjoy. SO GOOD and a full meal!

Queso Blanco

you need:

1 gallon of whole or lowfat milk cow or goat milk– regular grocery store pasteurized is fine but NOT ultra or ultra heat pasteurized.

1/4-1/2 cup of vinegar (I use apple cider but any will work though they all give their own flavor) or 2 tspn citric acid dissolved in 1/4 cup of water (for citric acid or a complete Queso Blanco and Paneer Kit visit our SHOP)

1-2 teaspoons salt (to taste- at this point you can also add chives, fresh chopped herbs, cayenne, anything!)

Heat the milk to a foamy, steamy simmer. Do not allow to boil or your cheese will taste cooked and will be rubbery. If you have a thermometer it would be between 180-195 degrees F. Be sure to stir often to prevent scorching.

When you see steam and foam and a gentle simmer, turn the temp to low and slowly drizzle in your vinegar. You may not need it all before you start seeing the clear separation between curds and whey. It’s like magic! When you see it, stop the drizzle and cook for about 10 seconds longer.

Turn off the heat and ladle or pour your curds into a colander lined with butter muslin or cheesecloth (or a boiled tea towel or even a large coffee filter, if you use regular grocery store cheesecloth, triple it at least, the holes are very large). Allow to drain for 20 minutes or so.

Then take your cloth corners and gently twist more whey out of the bundle. Open it up and mix in your salt. Stir it in evenly and taste until you like it.

curds

curds…pure potential

For a softer cheese, hang this from a hook or faucet and let it drain for another hour or so (place a bowl underneath to catch the whey). You now have a cheese that can be called a fresh cheese, bag cheese, farmer cheese or in our case, Queso Blanco.

For a nice firm cheese that you can cut up and use as a meat replacement (like tofu), place the bundle back in the colander, put a plate on top of it and then fill the empty gallon of milk with water and use it as a weight on top of the plate.

Let this sit and continue to drain for 1 more hour or until the cheese is as firm as you like it. Then it’s ready to eat fresh and soft as is or cover and refrigerate. It firms up more in the fridge. Enjoy!”

Spicy Queso Blanco

making mozzarella cheese with kids- it works!!

I recently gave a cheese kit to some friends in Austin. I was staying with them and since they’re entrepreneurial foodie types I thought they’d enjoy one. They did, but they soon asked for a demo and offered me the assistance of their three kids!! Gulp. Ranging from 9-2 years old…a challenge to say the least.

I was concerned that one, it would be too passive of an activity…step one, let’s watch milk heat up slowly…my other concern was that when we got to the stretching part they’d burn themselves.

Well, I’m happy to say that they remained pretty much interested (though the two year-old “multi-tasked” in other rooms halfway through) and we did indeed end up with mozzarella that they all took to school the next day :). As a bonus, no one burned themselves though we did sacrifice a good stretch for that bonus! Here we are hard at work, note my concerned look!

ps. Ideally I’d start kids with queso blanco- although it is not as hands-on, it’s faster, fool proof and does not involved dunking your hands into super hot water or stretching curds! check out my recipes section

Are you a Cheese Nerd? The basic stages of making fresh cheese (in this case for easy microwave mozzarella)

The joy that these photos bring me makes me feel like such a cheese nerd. The milk, curds, the whey, the cutting, the ladling, the coagulation, the end result. Oooooh.

note: My apologies for the lack of photos between curds and finished mozzarella knot. I was alone in the kitchen and can’t exactly take photos while stretching and shaping hot mozzarella. I will enlist a photographer soon and add those photos but for now, know that yes, there are steps in between. Unless you have a special microwave oven, you’ll have to do some work before it turns into the finished product. These were just photos to nerd out on, not a full instructional. See my recipes soon though!