Travel Eats

Entries in cheese (3)


Mozzarella Party: A Photo Essay

                                   Molly: The hostess with the mostest

What did you do last weekend?  If you were like a bunch of food52 groupies I know, you had a mozzarella making party!  I have been wanting to make my own mozzarella ever since I bought "Make the Bread, Buy the Butter."  Mozzarella cheese has a surprisingly short ingredient list: milk, salt, citric acid and rennet.  There are internet purveyors of a whole manner of cheese making supplies--everything but the milk.  You need whole milk that has not been ultra pasteurized--now that I have a milk source (Whole Foods) there will be more fresh mozzarella in our future.

                                                     Arielle inspecting the curd

Milk is heated with citric acid and then rennet (in tablet or liquid form is added).  This causes the proteins to coagulate into a curd.  If you are squeamish about using a product that comes from calf stomach (rennet) there are vegan substitutes. 

                                 Ginny happily gazing at a perfect curd.

The curd is then drained and the liquid portion (the whey) is returned to the pot and heated until ~180F.

A Google search for uses of leftover whey (and we had a ton of it) revealed it is good for making bread, as hair conditioner, smoothie addition, plant fertilizer and so on.  You can freeze it if you don't have a half dozen friends to send a jug home with.

 It's like science class, but edible!

 The gang waiting to get their hands on some hot cheese....

 Hot cheese now!  You will need a dedicated pair of gloves for cheese making--protects your hands from the near boiling whey that you are dipping the curd into to melt and stretch it.  Please don't substitute the gloves you use to clean your bathroom....

Abbie with the record stretch!

How do you like my mozzarella balls?

The yellow ones had absorbed some olive oil--we had way to much cheese to eat which is a shame because it truly is at its most delicious fresh out of the pot.

Thanks Molly for letting us mess up your kitchen!


Some cheese can't stand alone

Cheesestravaganza at the Lee house!  Unlike Wallace and Gromit, we merely had to travel to Whole Foods for a variety of cheeses--they sell small (<$3.00) portions.  Makes it fun to try a bunch.  Our family loves cheese, and to quote Maddy, "If there was a god of cheese, I could be a nun."  Everyone knows that cheese tastes best at room temperature, so if you are short on time you can take pictures of it in the midday Texas heat...

  Here are the types we tried:

Uniekaas Parrano our overall favorite

St. Andre a close second for all except Sophie

Seaside Cheddar: Sophie's second place

Chaumes: smells like old socks? still in Maddy's top 3

Mushroom brie: Ian's top 3

Ricotta salata: meh.  tasty but needs to be on top of something

5 year gouda: too sharp for all of us

White Stilton with lemon doh! didn't realize it was a dessert cheese, that explains a lot, maybe we should try it in scones?

A good time was had by all, and we'll try to keep you updated on future cheese adventures.



Thursday egg salad


I follow a number of food blogs, and The Tipsy Baker , where I found out about Heidi Swanson's beautiful cookbooks coincidently also linked me to my other favorite blogger at Orangette.  Click on the Orangette link to Molly's post about this awesome, but not photogenic egg salad that anchored our Thursday night meal.  Also featured were leftover grilled chicken since Sophie wouldn't touch egg salad with the proverbial 10 foot pole, and brun-uusto cheese which our family devoured like a pack of craven wolves.  Sophie and I had picked this cheese up at HEB one day because it looked interesting--it is labeled "bread cheese" and you serve it warm.  We heated ours up in a skillet although the instructions say you could microwave it.  Seriously, it is lucky that noone lost a finger in the feeding frenzy.  We asked for the cheese at a subsequent trip to Whole Foods, and the lady said we could find that type of cheese at Sam's or Costco.  Does this mean that despite the fancy foreign name this cheese is basically a step away from Velveeta?  I don't think we care, and you shouldn't either.