Because the last cream cheese was good, but not great, I decided to try things somewhat differently this time.
At 5 PM I combined 1 gallon whole milk with 2 cups cultured buttermilk in a large clean stainless steel pot and set on the cover. The plan was to let it incubate for 4 hours then heat the milk to 180 degrees prior to adding 1/4 cups cider vinegar to release the casein.
Instead I let the milk sit overnight on the counter. At 9 AM I started raising the temperature slowly. In about half an hour it was at 180 degrees. I shut off the heat and removed the pot from the stove. I added 1/4 cup cider vinegar and stirred for one minute with a long-handled clean stainless steel spoon. The protein began precipitating almost immediately but I continued to stir. After one minute, I covered the pot and let sit for 15 minutes.
Now it was time for draining. I put a damp "flour sack" kitchen towel into a large colander in a larger bowl in the sink and carefully poured the curds and whey into the kitchen towel. (The "flour sack" kitchen towel is easier to come by than good butter muslin. I got this one at the King Arthur Store.) The draining process was discussed in the previous cheese post so I will skip it here.
After the curds had hung for an hour, I divided in half and put into two glass bowls. To the first bowl I added 1 teaspoon Krazy Mixed Up Greek Seasoning, 1/2 teaspoon each: granulated garlic, powdered onion, dill weed, and kosher salt, 1/4 teaspoon white pepper (because I had it!) and 2/3 cup heavy whipping cream. I stirred the seasonings in well, covered, and refrigerated for the flavors to meld.
To the second bowl of curds I added all the same seasonings PLUS one giant clove of garlic put through a garlic press. After stirring it well together, I put it into the food processor (Cuisinart) for a couple of minutes to "whip", then put back in bowl, covered, and refrigerated. Well, I had a taste...it was really good, really garlicky...just the way I like it!
Tonight I am going to Book Group. I am going to take both bowls of flavored cheese and some baguette slices so the ladies can taste this and give me their opinions. Whenever I attend a function where food can be served, I think "GUINEA PIGS"!! It is very useful to have people tell you what they think...as long as you have a very thick skin. After all, you want their actual opinions, not what they think you want to hear. Those opinions may not be flattering nor comforting, but they will potentially help you make something better next time.