French style soft cheese.
* 5-6 quart stainless pot
* Thermometer that can read 80[degrees]F
* Cheesecloth (muslin type) This is not what is sold in grocery stores as cheesecloth.
* Large spoon to stir pot
* Someplace to hang the cheese to drain
French Style Soft Cheese 5 quarts whole milk 1/8 teaspoon mesophilic culture or chevre culture or 1/2 cup cultured buttermilk can be substituted for the mesophilic culture. 2 tablespoons diluted rennet (Dilution is 3 drops liquid rennet into 1/3 cup of cool water.) Warm the milk to 80[degrees]F. Sprinkle the culture over warmed milk and stir well. Add the diluted rennet and stir well again. Cover and let set undisturbed for 8-12 hours. Cheese is ready to drain when it looks like thickened yogurt. It may or may not have a film of liquid on the top. Pour into a cheesecloth lined pan and hang to drain for 6-8 hours. Draining can be hastened if you take down the bag of curds and scrape the inside of the bag towards the center, hang to finish draining. Cheese is drained enough when it reaches the consistency of cream cheese.
* If used as plain soft cream cheese, salt at a ratio of 1 teaspoon of kosher salt per pound.
* If freezing, freeze plain, unseasoned. I measure and freeze in one-pound packages. Flatten the packages to make them easier to stack in the freezer. This also makes them easier to unthaw and use for specific recipes.
* 2 cups equals I pound
Here are a few of my favorite recipes using the French style soft cheese:
Peanut Butter Pie 1 graham cracker crust Filling: 4 oz. of French style soft cheese 1/3 cup peanut butter 1/2 cup milk 8 oz. frozen whipped topping 1 cup powdered sugar Beat the French style soft cheese and peanut butter until creamy. Mix in the powdered sugar and whipped topping. Pour into the graham cracker crust. Freeze until firm. Serve frozen with hot fudge sauce if desired. French Onion Cheese Balls 1 lb. French style soft cheese 3-4 tablespoons finely minced onion 1 teaspoon salt Mix all together then roll into 2 balls.
Tip: I use dried minced onion, to which I add hot water to reconstitute. Drain or squeeze off the excess water and add 3-4 tablespoons to the cheese.
French Onion Pepper Cheese Balls 1 lb. of the above French Onion Cheese Balls. Roll them in coarse black pepper. I use restaurant-style coarse pepper. This is really a favorite whenever I serve it. Dill & Garlic Cheese Balls 1 lb. French style soft cheese 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder 3 teaspoons dill weed 1 teaspoon salt Mix all together and then roll into two balls or logs. Great served on your favorite crackers or bagels.
Mary Jane is the author of Goats Produce, Too, and A Cheeseemaker's Journey, available from the Countryside Bookstore, 1-800-551-5691.
BY MARY JANE TOTH
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|Title Annotation:||The homestead kitchen|
|Author:||Toth, Mary Jane|
|Publication:||Countryside & Small Stock Journal|
|Date:||Nov 1, 2012|
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