Thursday, March 04, 2010

My First Foray into Cheese Making

I attempted my first try with making cheese.  I won't say it was a total failure, but I only got about a half cup of cheese (maybe, that might be pushing it) out of the whole recipe.

Of course, it wasn't all my fault that things didn't go well, just partially my fault.

I used this recipe to make Fromage Blanc and that's where things went downhill.  The printed recipe is not correct, but the one on the video is.   So, guess what I didn't do?  Yep, skipped the video, printed out the directions (or destructions as we call them around here) and proceeded to the actual making of the cheese.  I could have saved myself a lot of grief by just watching the darn thing.

I used a half gallon of whole milk - the two quarts that the written directions called for, and only got a half cup of cheese.  Methinks that's very little return for the investment folks.

This photo is what I got when I didn't add enough buttermilk and lemon juice.  Do you see lots of curds forming?  Me neither.  I reheated it to the proper temp three times and ended up adding more of the buttermilk and lemon juice.  It helped some, but not lots. 

But.  I kept what whey that I had and used it to make pancakes and I'm going to use the rest to make some muffins. So, it's not a total loss I suppose.  Made the pancakes healthier too and the kids never noticed what went into them.

The little bit of cheese that I did make successfully, I used in a nice little lasagna.  I layered red sauce ( made from diced tomatoes, tomato sauce and some tvp (textured vegetable protein), lasagna sheets, spinach and cheese and baked it all for about 30 minutes.  It made for a great meal.

   The Hillbilly Housewife has a frugal version of a recipe that makes this kind of cheese as well.  I might give that recipe a shot instead.  Her recipes are pretty darn good.  I ran out of chocolate syrup and made hers and it was better than what I had been buying!

I'm going to try to make cheese again and this time I swear it's going to work.  Well, I hope it's going to work anyway.  :)