Saturday, June 23, 2012

Projects for Grandchildren

Our oldest grandchildren are visiting this week from Eastern Washington.  We managed to squeeze a few nice sunny days out of this cold wet spring while they are here.  However, today we once again woke up to cloudy skies and rain.  Fortunately, the stuff I had ordered from the American Cheese Company arrived in today's mail, so this afternoon we made mozarella cheese.  

Can this really be this easy?  First step measuring a teaspoon and a half of citric acid into a cup of cool water.  Pour a gallon of milk (NOT ultra-pasteurized) into a stainless steel pan and add the citrus acid mix.
Heat slowly to 90 degrees - then cut one rennet tablet into quarters, mix one quarter tablet with a quarter cup of cool water.  Mix and add to milk mixture and let sit for about 5 minutes.
Note:  The rennet tablet seemed to be the only odd ingredient that is not readily available in the grocery store (and I didn't even check, they may be right there on the shelf somewhere.)
Let set for 5 minutes, then cut into about 1" cubes with a long knife.  Reheat to 105 degrees.  It will look like custard and the curds will be easily separated from the whey.
Remove from the heat and continue stirring for about 5 minutes.
Drain the whey from the curds
Reheat in a microwaveable glass container for 1 minute, then continue to drain whey and work the cheese.
Reheat again for 30 seconds.
Add a teaspoon of salt and mold into your desired shapes (try a taste!)
Cool thoroughly in ice water - Refrigerate and enjoy!