Thursday, March 31, 2011

Huge Difference

So, when I made the mascarpone with raw milk I wasn't too happy with it, but wasn't really sure why making it with cream as opposed to milk would make a difference.

I still don't know why, but it does. HUGE difference.

Today, I actually have mascarpone. Creamy, sweet, spreadable mascarpone.

1 quart of light cream, heated in a double boiler to 180 degrees, then 1/4 teaspoon of tartaric acid was added. Stirred for 2 minutes - one minute in the double boiler but off the stove and one minute in the pot without the hot water underneath. Then poured through a cheesecloth (butter muslin, really) and left to drain for 12 hours in the fridge. Easy peasy.

Sunday, March 20, 2011

Cheese Molds

Tenntrace asks for photos of the cheese and the cheese mold. We have eaten too much of the cheese to see the whole thing, but here's what is left! It turns yellow as it sits in the fridge, aging slightly. Doesn't affect the taste at all. One could rinse the cheese daily to minimize this but, really, it's just going to be eaten so quickly it's not worth the effort.The new mold is the metal one. The plastic one was actually twice as tall, and was cut into two molds. There weren't enough holes so my husband drilled more. The metal one has larger holes so I spent a lot of time scooping up escaping cheese and putting it back into the mold from the top. It's taller, so it holds more. I'm not sure which I like better. Both are perfectly fine to use.

Thursday, March 17, 2011

Cheese and Pie

While those two things can go together, today they were separate projects. I finally had an afternoon when I could get to the dairy farm and get more raw milk. In addition to the queijo fresco, I had a kit for making mascarpone which I wanted to try. So I purchased 2 gallons of raw milk and got started as soon as I got home.

1 gallon of milk went straight to the queijo fresco - and I used a new, metal, cheese mold which my friend had purchased in Brasil for me. Then I set up the mascarpone. The recipe calls for light cream but I thought that I could use raw milk instead. The milk was heated to 180 degrees and then I added tartaric acid and let the curds separate from the whey. After 2 minutes the curds were strained in butter muslin and the resulting cheese was stored when it was fully strained. It seems a little bit more rubbery than I would have thought, so I will try again with light cream to see what, if any, differences exist.

Before the queijo fresco was ready to be packed into the mold, I made a pie crust and tossed in 3 pints of apple pie filling. (The last time I made one, I used 2 pints, so I wanted to see if 3 was a better amount for a 9-inch pie.) In honor of spring this one is decorated with a flower. The 9-year-old is having a hard time staying away from it until dessert!

While the pie baked, I made the queijo fresco and got it into the fridge. We're going to have a lot of cheese for the next few days. But I suspect it will get eaten rather quickly!

Monday, March 14, 2011

Lobster Stock Paella

Remember how I made 14 pints of lobster stock about a year ago? Well, I haven't forgotten. They've just been sitting in the pantry, calling to me, saying, "When are you going to USE us?" I just never got the energy to do anything with them. Bisque? Risotto? My sister suggested paella would be easier, so I threw together this recipe:

1 large onion, chopped
4 cloves garlic, minced
2 cups long grain rice (I used basmati)
7-ounce jar roasted red peppers, chopped, juice reserved
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground saffron
1 pound shrimp, shells removed
1-2 cups chopped green beans

Sautee the onion and garlic in olive oil in an oven-proof pot. Add the rice, peppers and juice, and saffron. Add 2 pints of lobster stock and bring it to a simmer for a few minutes. Remove from heat, arrange the shrimp on top, then add the beans. Cover and bake at 450 for 30-40 minutes, until the rice is done. Let sit for 10 minutes before serving.

Mmm! Now I only have 12 more pints to use up.