Thursday, November 10, 2011

Fromage Frais

I had a really fun weekend making fromage frais. My mom bought me a cheesemaking book and I've been looking forward to trying some recipes from it for a while. We spent Saturday shopping for rennet, a coagulant, and for the bacterial culture, which we ended up finding at Les Amis du Fromage, which we had never been to before, but were impressed by - we'll definitely go back to buy cheese another time.

The recipe was really easy - it only took about 10 minutes to do. The milk had to sit out at room temperature for about 12 hours, so Sunday morning before work, I drained it into cheesecloth. It wasn't really like the ricotta or paneer I had made before, where the curds separate visibly from the whey. I poured the entire pot into the cheesecloth, and it seemed very watery. I wasn't quite sure how it was going to turn out, but I was really excited to come home from work to find it had set up perfectly. I was happy.

I haven't quite had time to figure out what to do with it yet because on Monday I got really sick. I'll post some pictures once I make something with the cheese. But I will definitely be making more cheese in the future, maybe some goat's cheese, if I can find goat's milk, and feta one day soon too.

Fromage Frais
From 200 Easy Homemade Cheese Recipes
Yield: 1L
Print recipe

4L whole milk
1/4 tsp aroma or mesophilic culture
2 drops liquid rennet
kosher salt
  1. In a large pot, warm milk over medium heat to 77F (25C), stirring gently to prevent scorching. Remove from heat.

  2. Sprinkle culture over surface of milk and let stand about 5 minutes to rehydrate.

  3. Using a skimmer and an up-and-down motion, gently draw culture down into milk without breaking surface of milk.

  4. Dilute rennet in 1 tablespoon of cool water. 

  5. Add diluted rennet to milk. Using same up-and-down motion, draw rennet down into milk until well blended.

  6. Cover and let set at room temperature in a draft-free location for 12 hours.

  7. Using a skimmer, ladle curd into a cloth-lined colander and let drain. The draining will take several hours, depending on how firm you want your final product to be.

  8. Remove cheese from cloth and place in a bowl. Weigh cheese, then add 1% of the weight in salt.

  9. Store in the coldest part of the refrigerator for up to 2 weeks.

Saturday, November 5, 2011

Broccoli, Cheddar, and Quinoa Soup

My mom bought me a book of quinoa recipes that I have been excited to try. I finally made a couple of things last night, but the only one of the three that I liked was this soup. You don't really even notice the quinoa in the soup, so it's a super easy way to add nutrition to a meal. And with the weather cooling down, the soup is a perfect way to keep warm.

Broccoli, Cheddar, and Quinoa Soup
Adapted from Quinoa 365
Yield: 4-6 servings
Print recipe

3 cups broccoli florets
1 tbsp butter
1 cup onion, chopped
1/4 cup quinoa
3 cups chicken or vegetable stock
1 cup whipping cream
1 cup cheddar cheese, shredded
salt and pepper, to taste
  1. In a large pot, melt butter over medium heat.

  2. Add onion and saute until soft, about 10 minutes.

  3. Add broccoli, quinoa, and stock. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat to medium-low. Simmer until quinoa is tender, about 20 minutes.

  4. Puree with a hand blender or food processor.

  5. Add cream and season with salt and pepper.

  6. While soup is hot, stir in cheese until just melted. Serve immediately.

Potato Salad

I've been meaning to post this recipe for a long time now. I made this summery potato salad a few times over the bbq season. You can add any vegetables you like, but I used red nugget potatoes, yellow and green beans, tomatoes, and baby carrots. Blanch all the vegetables separately (besides the tomatoes of course) and cut into bite-sized pieces before combining.

Potato Salad Dressing
Yield: 1 1/2 cups
Print recipe

1 cup mayonnaise
1 tbsp dijon mustard
1 tbsp prepared pesto
1 tbsp white wine vinegar
1 tbsp apple cider vinegar
1 tbsp sherry vinegar
fresh dill, to taste
fresh parsley, chopped, to taste
salt and pepper, to taste
  1. In a bowl, combine all ingredients.

  2. Toss with vegetables.