About The Country Wife Blog

Friday, March 14, 2014

Food Today: Homemade Cream Cheese and Seasoned Cheese Log!

Today we are having a very large snow storm. It is predicted to last for 36 hours and leave up to 20 inches of snow covering our already-deep snowbanks.  Because I was out last night for our Relief Society birthday party (a wonderful affair, by the way!),  I stopped at the grocery store to get two gallons of milk so I could make some cottage cheese during the predicted storm when I would be going nowhere.

Yes, I was planning to make cottage cheese but I had not re-checked the recipe so, I changed to making cream cheese/farmer cheese...

The cottage cheese required a twenty-four hour wait after innoculation of the milk,  so I had no problem changing my mind on what to make TODAY!

This is what I did:

Poured one gallon whole milk into a large stainless steel pot.  Started heating it gently to 175-180 degrees F.  In the meantime, since I failed to bring the bottle of buttermilk out of the refrigerator to "warm up", I set the buttermilk bottle into a sink of very warm water to bring it to room temperature (or a little more) within a few minutes.

Once the milk in the pot on the stove was at temperature I poured in 2 cups room temperature buttermilk and 1/4 cup cider vinegar and stirred well for about one minute.

At this point I let the cheese sit for 10-15 minutes.  After 15 minutes I poured the curds and whey into a butter-muslin-lined stainless steel colander which had been set in a large bowl to collect the whey.

Cream cheese brick
Seasoned cream cheese log
After draining for a few minutes I pulled the butter-muslin together to tie at the top so I could hang it to finish draining.  In my case, I put a wooden spoon through the tied-top and put it through the handle of our microwave oven with the colander and bowl underneath to continue catching the whey that would drip out.
Cream cheese brick wrapped in plastic then covered with foil for refrigeration.

After 30 minutes of hanging, there were no more drips.  Just for my own interest I weighed the cheese.  There were 24 ounces of fresh new cheese!  For $2.89, plus $1.00 for the buttermilk and a negligible amount money for the cider vinegar!  Good deal, if it tastes good...

Leftover whey!  LOTS of whey!!
Seasoned cream cheese log with matzos.
At this point I divided the cheese into two batches in separate bowls.  To one bowl I added 1 teaspoon of KrazyMixedUp Greek Seasoning, 1/2 teaspoon each of granulated garlic, powdered onion, dill weed, and Kosher salt,  plus 1/4 teaspoon white pepper.  Once I mixed this in well, I made a double layer of plastic wrap and formed the seasoned cheese into a log, rolled it up,  and wrapped tightly.  Tomorrow I will see how it tastes and if the texture is right for a cheese log to use for slicing for baguettes or crackers.

To the other half of the cheese I added 1/2 teaspoon Kosher salt and 1/2 cup heavy cream.  I stirred it well then shaped it into a brick on a piece of plastic wrap inside some heavy-duty foil then sealed it up tightly.  After refrigerating, I will see how I like it.  It may be that 1/2 teaspoon was too much Kosher salt. I probably should have used cheese salt which is very fine and mixes in better, most likely!

A very nice way to spend an hour on a very snowy day!  Now to my knitting.  Well, Dear One may want a meal at some point....!

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