Sunday, February 19, 2012


#7 on my 30-During-30 list is to master making three types of cheeses.  Well, mastery is far away, my friends, but here was my first attempt at mozzarella at home.  I followed these directions, which made successful batch at a friend's house a while back:  It's not true mozzarella recipe, in that my cheese making book says proper mozzarella is about a 6-hour process, but I think I'll try mastering the cheater version for now out of the interest of realism. 

Non-ultra-pasteurized whole milk, citric acid, rennet, a thermometer, a half an hour, and I made mozzarella cheese.  Adjustments for next time:  buy a gallon of milk, not a half gallon.  I swear that half gallon looked really big until I got it home and realized I had to cut everything in half.  I found some milk that had been pasteurized at 142 degrees and had a cream top from Whole Foods called Kolona Super Natural.  We got liquid vegetable rennet at our beer brewing store a while back and I honestly found citric acid in our closet in our bath-bomb making kit.  Don't worry, it was food-grade.  I found a thermometer in our cupboard that looks like a meat thermometer, but went lower to a lower temperature.  I'm pretty sure it was far from accurate.  It took about three minutes to go from cold milk to 90 degrees with my new Cuisinart pots.  As meteorologists, we have a gazillion thermometers around the house.  Next time I'll use one that works.  Lastly, I made this last night at 8:00pm and wasn't about to eat it at that hour, so I put it in a tupperware for today.  Um, dumb move.  Next time I'll add a last step where I make a cold brine solution to cool down the cheese, keep it from getting hard, and store it properly. 
Cut, reheated curd.
Home made mozzarella, tomatoes, and fresh basil.
You wouldn't believe the guilt complex that I have right now.  After buying a share of community-supported-agriculture last year and getting local organic veggies every week, I feel pangs of guilt every time I buy out of season vegetables.  Oh the carbon footprint!  I had to tell myself that I don't want to die of scurvy and I need to start buying fresh veggies again.   

Caprese salad complete with olive oil, salt, and fresh cracked pepper

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