Saturday, July 17, 2010

Catching up

I haven't posted in a while so I guess I'd better catch up with what cheesy activities have been going on here. After coming back from vacation to Ireland, I got some fresh goat milk June 19th and made of Parmesan cheese using 1 gal of 1% skimmed milk from Walmart and 1 gal of the fresh goat milk. It made 1lb 8oz of curds before brining. It came out of the brine at 1lb 6oz and is now in the cheese cave to age for 10 months. My cave has been maintaining 48-50F and humidity at 65-70%. I covered the parm with a 4 cup plastic container to increase the humidity around the cheese.
On the 4th of July weekend, I attempted 5 different cheese products. Sour Cream, Cream Cheese, whole milk Ricotta, Mascarpone, and Mozzarella. The sour cream was the only failure. I used some store bought sour cream that was in the fridge as the starter. It was only after it failed to curdle did i notice the use by date was over a month ago. live and learn. Joan used the ricotta and mozz to make lasagna Sunday evening and it was Delicious. She used the cream cheese to make a NY style cheese cake. Delectable. I made some Key Lime Mascarpone on shortbread cookies as a treat.
I also made some goat milk yogurt the week before that. Although it was thinner than cow milk yogurt using the same culture and setting the same length of time, it was a noticeably smoother texture. I drained the yogurt until it was thickened nicely and it was enjoyed by those lucky enough to get a taste.
I purchased some additional cultures including a yogurt culture, Y5. It is described as a sweeter yogurt than the Bulgarian Y1. and indeed it is much milder than the Greek style that I have been making. I made a half gal from 2% skimmed milk and used half to make yogurt cheese. The cheese product seems to concentrate the flavor and the end product is much tangier than the yogurt.
I made a nice cheese spread from it by taking 1/2 cup of the cheese, 1Tbs of Olive oil, 1/4tsp each of parsley flakes and Italian seasoning, 1/8tsp each of garlic powder, onion salt, black pepper, and dill, mixing it all together and letting it sit overnight in the fridge. It is great on crackers and as a veggie dip. (add more olive oil if you want a thinner dip). You could also add some red wine vinegar for a real bite but just add and mix a little at a time to get the right taste for you.

I'm having a get together next Saturday July 24 with a few friends and family to show them how to make mozzarella and mascarpone and maybe yogurt. Pictures to follow afterwards I hope.

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