Do you love cheese? I know I do! Any kind of cheese – so this is my kind of day! How about some homemade cheese?
And to celebrate this wonderful food, here are two recipes for fresh cheeses you can make at home – without rennet!
What is rennet? Rennet is an enzyme that is produced in the stomach of animals that use a second stomach to digest their foods. (Cows, sheep, goats) and is used in the process of making many cheeses. This enzyme works the curds to make the cheese. There are some vegetarian alternatives, or you can just try some fresh, homemade yogurt or farmer’s cheese!
First – the yogurt cheese – pretty simple with lots of flavor. It’s very similar to cream cheese.
What you need:
- 7 oz. low or whole fat plain Greek yogurt
- 1 teaspoon garlic salt
- 2 Tablespoons freeze-dried chives
How to Do it:
Mix the salt and chives into the yogurt.
Lay cheese cloth or a coffee filter over a colander. Place the yogurt mixture into the cheese cloth.
If using cheese cloth, gently twist the top and replace in the colander to drain.
Don’t twist too hard or the yogurt will squeeze through the cloth. If you are using coffee filters, cover and allow to drain for 12-16 hours. It should be firm, similar to cream cheese.
Serve as you would any cream cheese.
Makes about ½ cup of cheese
Next, the farmer’s cheese – a traditional fresh curd cheese that is very similar to ricotta. It uses an acid to separate the curds from the whey – and a-whey we go….
What you need:
- ½ gallon whole milk (raw if you can get it)
- ¼ cup apple cider vinegar
- 2 teaspoons garlic salt
- ½ teaspoon dried thyme leaves (or other herb you like)
How to Do it:
Bring the milk to a rolling boil, but do not scorch it. Add the vinegar. The curds and whey will separate almost immediately. Let it sit for about 5 to 10 minutes.
Place a colander in a deep bowl and cover the inside with 2-3 layers of cheese cloth.
Pour the curds into the colander and drain off the whey. Pour the whey out of the bowl.
Mix the herbs and salt well into the curds.
Wrap the cheese cloth around it all and squeeze, removing as much liquid as possible.
Place the cheese cloth wrapped curds back into the colander and place a dish over the top. Use something heavy to weigh down the dish, pushing more moisture out. I used a bag of bird seed. Pie weights would be great if you have them. Allow to drain for 2-3 hours.
Carefully remove a section of cheese cloth and check the texture. You don’t want it too dry or it will crumble. I should be the texture of ricotta.
When it is the correct texture, remove the cheese cloth and serve either chilled or at room temperature.
It’s a mild cheese and great on crackers or for cooking!
Makes about 1 cup of cheese
© Copyright 2017 The Lazy Gastronome
Below are some of the items we used to create these recipes –
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