Archive for cheese

Project 5: Farmhouse Cheddar, The Waxing!

Here’s the little wheel of farmhouse cheddar we made. It has a rather pretty pattern on the bottom from the cheese press. We sat it out for about a week air-drying (perhaps should have been less) until it developed a thin rind. I think it smelled like buttered popcorn!

Cheddah!

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Project 5: Hard Cheese #1, Farmhouse Cheddar

With our homemade cheese press more or less figured out, it was time to attempt our first hard cheese. After looking through Ricki’s book, we chose the Farmhouse Cheddar recipe, which the book describes as a “Cheddar shortcut.” Compared to other hard cheeses, the farmhouse cheddar doesn’t specify an aging temperature (most other recipes look for the cheese to age at about 55 degrees, which we won’t be able to do until it gets a little bit cooler outside), and is ready to eat after only a month. After making soft cheeses that were ready within about 24 hours, this still seemed like a long time to wait!

The trickiest part of this recipe was sustaining the specific temperatures called for at different times. Once the milk had been heated to 90 degrees, starter added, milk ripened for 45 minutes, and rennet added, we needed to cover the cheese and let it set at 90 degrees for 45 minutes. We expected that wrapping the pot or applying periodic low heat would be needed to keep the milk hot, but not only did the milk stay at 90 degrees, its temperature kept rising. After scratching our heads and consulting with Eryn’s mom – a food scientist who joined our cheesemaking party for the day – we realized that the starter had caused reactions to take place in the milk, creating internal heat. Amazing!

The next step called for us to slowly heat the curds from 90 to 100 degrees, increasing the temperature no more than two degrees every 5 minutes. This was easy since the milk was already at 100 degrees. So, we stuck the pot in some warm (not hot) water and tried to maintain the 100-degree temp until the curds shrunk and were ready for draining.

 

After draining the curds and mixing in the salt, we finally got to test out the new press.  We placed the curds into the cheesecloth-lined mold (our giant mayonnaise jar with the top and bottoms cut off), and assembled it into the press.

The first press was at 10 pounds of pressure for 10 minutes. This used the third notch of the press, and worked well. Whey instantly began draining from the bottom of the press! After 10 minutes, we removed the cheese (as soon as the curds are pressed, I think they officially turn into “cheese”) from the press and flipped it over.

The next pressing called for 20 lbs. of pressure for 10 more minutes. This step did not work as smoothly. The weight called for the first notch (closest to the press arm) to be used, and as Nicole noted in her press-making post, it was just not possible to place the pressure in the middle of the cheese mold. A minute after we set it in place, the press point collapsed from the uneven pressure. Crap. So, we decided to forego this intermediate pressing and go straight to the 50 lbs of pressure for 12 hours. Some whey continued to drain, but I’d say the majority had been pressed out after the first 10 lbs.

The next morning (actually more than 12 hours later, but I’m not dedicated enough to wake up in the middle of the night) I got up and unwrapped the cheese. And wow – it looked like real cheese! The cheesecloth stuck in some places, especially into the indentations caused by pressing the cheese into the drainage troughs on the base, but otherwise I thought it looked great. So, I placed the cheese on a small wooden cutting board, and stuck it on top of my fridge to dry. By the end of the day, the cheese had already started to develop a hardened rind. I flipped the cheese 2-3 times a day so that both sides could air dry….and after three days I passed the cheese to Amanda to seal it up for aging.


 

I’m very curious to taste this first attempt at hard cheese. It will be interesting to see how it compares to other cheddars I’ve tasted. From a small sampling at Foster & Dobbs recently (where I bought a farmhouse cheddar to eat on cheesemaking day), I discovered there’s a huge variety in flavor, even amongst farmhouse cheddars. We’ll have to report back with some tasting notes once it’s ready. Only a week to go!

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Propranolol Without Prescription – Online Canadian Pharmacy – Homemade Cheese Press

Propranolol Without Prescription

To date FUCheese has done soft cheese. Despite our desire Buy Propranolol Without Prescription to make hard cheese we were lacking a key piece of equipment for the allergic reaction process of making a hard cheese – Order the cheese heart UK failure press. I’d seen a number of cheese presses for sale online and also seen pictures of more homemade varieties. While the Australia ones you can purchase online are expensive, no prescription they do come heart rate fully assembled and order propranolol with a design that has generic been talking to your doctor time tested and USA proven to be room temperature efficient and accurate.

Because we here at FUCheese like to do things for ourselves and because I got it into my head early heart attack on that we could drug over the counter interactions build a cheese press stopped taking propranolol on our own that was just as accurate and way cheaper than the fully migraine headaches assembled varieties cheap some of us at beta blocker FUCheese found ourselves one sunny summer day in the woodshop. We had purchased plans blood vessels to make our own trouble breathing cheese press from New England Cheesemaking Supply angina chest pain Company and Canada had purchased food grade lumber and were going to build our cheese press.

Now, I’m not going to discourage you from attempting to build your own if you want to, but if I had to do heart rhythms it all over again – I’d buy a cheese press. I had a great time making it and it was not a hard irregular heartbeats plan to follow, but there was some difficulty finding doctor or pharmacist the right hardware, and while New England Cheesemaking Supply Company was very prompt with their reply with a solution to our hardware dilemma, there were a number of heart beats other alterations we had to make to get it to work.

We used it to press our farmhouse cheddar recently and it worked fine, but even after solving our hardware problems we are still running into issues. Largely due to the fact that the base – given its size – can’t be centered under the press point because the wall gets in the way. This makes for an uneven press and a somewhat lopsided wheel of cheese. Plus extra work for you to turn the cheese on the base skip the missed dose in order blood sugar to equalize the stopped suddenly press.

So when it gets down to recommendations – buy your cheese press. It will save you time, hassle, and inaccuracies.

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The Cheese Platter

My family has been huge fans of the cheese platter for years now.  It started when I was like 12 or 14 when my mom made a wrapped brie appetizer for the holidays.  Not that cheese wasn’t a huge part of my life prior to this event.  I am from the Midwest where dairy has its own sacred place in the food lexicon, but this was the first time that I’d experienced anything outside of the hard block of yellow or white cheese.  Since then, there have been numerous cheese platters.  Some stand out more than others and while the cheese is definitely the highlight, it also has to do with who you are sharing it with and what you choose to go along with it. 

Early this spring my sister and her boyfriend came down for a visit from Seattle and we decided to check out Steve’s Cheese for the first time.  Don’t ask me why it took me so long to get over there, but it was years wasted in my opinion.  The cheese and cured meats selection was wide and diverse and the service was exceptionally helpful and knowledgeable.  The cheese platter we ended up with – largely made up of recommendations – was delightful.  I don’t know what other word to use.  We paired the cheese and meat with some bread and vegetables that we had picked up at the farmer’s market so we were truly fulfilling the northwest food geek stereotype.

We had three different cheeses all from the pacific northwest.  They are all well known cheese makers and I’ve run into these cheeses since then at cheese tastings and counters around town.  That said all three are really delicious representations of pacific northwest cheese.  The Willamette Valley Cheese’s Boerenkass (a raw cow milk cheese) was mild, but really full of flavor and went really well with the bread and Fra Mani Sopressata. 

This was the first time that I had tasted Rivers Edge Chevre’s Up in Smoke (goat milk).  This was unbelievably fantastic.  I love goat cheese and I’ve never tasted a goat cheese like this – rich, smoky, creamy.  I’ve had this over and over again since this first tasting.  I liked eating it wrapped in the Iowa applewood smoked durroc ham we got from Steve’s Cheese.

The final cheese was from Estrella Family Creamery.  I first had their cheese after visiting the Ballard farmer’s market so this was not a new cheese maker for us, but it was the first time I tasted their Guapier (cow milk).  This cheese has a layer of ash running through the center separating the morning and evening milking.  There really was a stark difference in taste between the two sides and it made for a fun tasting.  It was a really delicious cheese that was really best – in my opinion – eaten by itself.

This was one of those really great cheese experiences.  The company was fun and casual and into the cheese. And the cheese lived up to the moment with great flavors.

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Project 3 (Part B): Fromage Bland… uh… I mean Blanc.

fromage blanc after draining

Goat day was actually more of a goat weekend. Check out Amanda’s chevre posting for the first part of the saga. On Sunday a big group of us got together to experience the final results of the chevre process and to try our hand at some more instantaneous cheese – fromage blanc. I have to admit, I was most excited about this. Not that I don’t like chevre, I do, I love it, but ever since Sarah made a comment a while back about a toasted bagel smothered in fromage blanc I’ve been very excited to make this cheese.

There were numerous road blocks to this process, the primary issue being that apparently all really good cheeses require at least 36 hours to make. Upon reviewing the fromage blanc recipe from my cheese book and a few others on various websites it became clear that we didn’t have enough time in our afternoon of cheese making to do fromage blanc from beginning to end. So I opted to try out a recipe from the foodnetwork.com website that promised more immediate gratification. It was actually a very simple recipe, and as far as ingredients were concerned, all could be bought from your local grocery store (the lemon juice and buttermilk acting as the starter for the cheese).

We decided to try both a goat and a cow version of the fromage blanc so we did two half batches of this recipe. In the beginning the two batches acted and looked almost identical. We heated the milk over the stove once we had added the lemon juice & buttermilk mixture to the two pans. As the milk heated to 175 degrees the cow batch (likely due to the large amounts of cream in it) started getting a little thicker and turned a butter yellow color. After reaching 175 degrees we let the pans sit for 10 minutes and then hung the two batches up to drain in cheesecloth.

The final result was … good. They were also however, bland. They lacked the tang and somewhat cream cheese consistency I associate with fromage blanc. I think if we had not let them drain as long as we did that the consistency would have been more on target. I wish now however that we had started the fromage blanc on Saturday like we did the chevre, as I think that the longer versions of the recipe would have more of the tang and richness of flavor that I was looking for. As a quick way to try cheese making at home I would say this recipe was a great find, but for anyone looking to recreate a more authentic fromage blanc I would recommend you try another recipe.

You can view the pictures of the whole day and the fromage blanc making here.

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Cheese & Beer Pairing

Inspired by the New York Times article I wrote about previously, I started looking for some recommendations for cheese and beer pairings. We like beer near as much as we like cheese so it seemed only natural to put these two together. I came across a recommendation to pair summer beers like a wheat or hefeweizen with fresh young cheeses like chevre or fromage blanc. Since we had just made a batch of chevre that morning, I thought this would be perfect. Thom, my incredibly smart and handsome husband, who also happens to be a homebrewer and writer over at the BSBrewing Blog, came along to help me choose the beers.

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NYTimes article on beer and food pairing

This article from a couple years ago talks about how effective it can be to pair beer with food. The writer interviews Brooklyn Brewery brewmaster Garrett Oliver who talks about pairing beer with some foods which may be difficult to pair with wine. He raises the interesting point that beer can really break up the food and act as a palate cleanser in a way that some wines cannot.

Here at FUCheese we are beer lovers as well so learning how beer might complement our favorite cheeses would be exceptional. For our third cheesemaking project we are planning to focus on goat milk and I’m going to try to put together a beer and cheese pairing. I will report the results!

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Curds & Whey has closed!

Terrible news — the Sellwood cheese shop Curds & Whey has closed! I had not gotten around to doing a write-up of the really great goat cheese tasting we attended in May (a couple photos on Flickr). Colin and David were really great hosts — the cheese was divine and their shop totally charming. I imagine that competition is fierce when you have some relatively well-stocked cheese sections in major grocers like Whole Foods, New Seasons and Market of Choice. However, their selection was really amazing and they will be missed. I wish them the best of luck in whatever they decide to do in the future.

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First post!

This post is long overdue as we sure are busy here at FUCheese headquarters. Hopefully there will be more and consistent updates from all the cheese lovers who make up FUCheese. Stay tuned….

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