My first attempt at making a soft farmer’s cheese. I used whole milk from Ocheessee Creamery (local dairy farm), vinegar, a touch of salt and fresh chopped basil from my garden for added flavor. This is great for snacking with fresh tomatoes, drizzled with olive oil, and sprinkled with cracked black pepper. Pictured are Nyagous tomatoes (a black Russian heirloom variety) from our garden.
Farmer’s Cheese Recipe
1 gallon whole milk (I prefer to use raw, organic milk from grassfed cows)
1/4 cup of apple cider vinegar (experiment here with other acidic foods like lemon juice or buttermilk)
Heat the milk in a large pot just to the boiling point. Remove from heat. Add the vinegar slowly and a little at a time while stirring, allowing the whey to separate from the curd. The curds are what will become the cheese. The whey is the liquid that remains and should be milky, but fairly translucent. Continue stirring and add more ACV if necessary to extract the curds from the whey. They should begin to clump together. Sometimes it takes a little more acid to get this process going. Once you have a nice clump of curds, strain the curds from the whey by pouring the whole mixture into a nut milk bag. Put the bag in a colander over another pot to save the whey for use in shakes, a pet food supplement, in recipes, or in your garden. Carefully squeeze the nut milk bag without burning yourself and hang up to drain or simply leave in the colander for about 10 minutes to drain. If you want to experiment with herbs or other flavors, mix those into the curds before squeezing and draining. Remove from the nut milk bag and eat fresh or refrigerate.
Tip: For savory cheeses, experiment with chopped basil, rosemary, garlic, salt, pepper, etc. For sweet flavored cheeses, use the buttermilk or lemon as the acid for a milder flavor and add chopped fruit, cardamom, etc.
***Shared at Food Renegade’s Fight Back Friday on November 22, 2011.