Saturday, November 9, 2013

Book Review: Home Cheese Making by Ricki Carroll

We had a bunch of raw milk that was a couple of days away from expiring, so we had to do something with it.  I had recently made raw yogurt, so wanted to try something different.

I have Ricki Carroll's tantalizing cookbook Home Cheese Making.  The book itself is good.  It's a nice read, tells a good story, and made me want to make cheese at home.  This was AGES ago, when I first got it, then I never was inspired to actually get the extra ingredients for home cheese making.

But now I had some milk and didn't want to make yogurt.  I searched the cookbook for recipes that didn't require any extra and unusual ingredients.  I settled on Paneer, which is Indian Farmer Cheese, and the Mexican Farmer Cheese.  The Indian recipe used lemon juice after heating the milk, and the Mexican recipe used apple cider vinegar.  They both ended up with a similar consistency and non-meltable characteristic, as well as tons of whey left over.  I liked the flavor of the Indian cheese slightly better, though the Mexican one was good in soup.

With the leftover whey, I tried making ricotta and it failed.  I also made her Italian whey bread and it was tasty.  I used a gluten-free flour mix from Trader Joe's, so that probably explains why it was so crumbly.  The kids loved making it, though.

This was entertaining, but I don't think I will be making cheese again anytime soon.  I stand by yogurt as the easiest use of about-to-expire milk.  It was far too much effort for the small amount of cheese made, and it wasn't awesome in flavor.

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