Sunday, 15 December 2013

200 Easy Homemade Cheese Recipes, Second Edition

200 Easy Homemade Cheese Recipes, 
Second Edition
By Debra Amrein-Boyes
Paperback, 440 pages

They say that cheese is milk's leap towards immortality. One thing I know for certain: cheese is wonderful.

It can be soft, hard, salty, mild and everything in between. And it can be made in your own home!

I have actually tried quite a few of these recipes from the original edition and, let me tell you, it is a thrill to be able to make your own cheese at home. Start with the easier ones and work your way up. (One simpler recipe is included below)

The author is a celebrated professional cheese maker and the book is clear and easy to follow. There is a trouble shooting guide at the back to let you know how to correct any mistakes and lots of step by step photos of the process.

Like canning, there are safety procedures to follow and they are laid out in simple, basic steps to make sure your cheese is fresh and wonderful.

You've conquered so much in your kitchen, time to add homemade cheese to the list!

Mmmmm, cheese!

 About the Author

Debra Amrein-Boyes is one of the top artisanal cheese makers in Canada. She spent several years learning about cheese making in Switzerland, then returned to Canada, where she is now the head cheese maker of The Farm House Natural Cheeses.

Here's a sampling of some of the cheeses you can make:

  •     Fresh Cheeses: traditional Ricotta and fresh goat cheeses
  •     Stretched-Curd Cheeses: Bocconcini, Provolone and Mozzarella
  •     Mold-Ripened Cheeses: Brie, Camembert with Calvados
  •     Blue-Veined Cheeses: Gorgonzola, Roquefort, White Stilton
  •     Washed-Rind Cheeses: Muenster, Brick, Limburger
  •     Washed-Curd and Semisoft Cheeses: Colby, Edam, Fontina
  •     Semifirm and Hard Cheeses: Emmental, Jarlsberg, Cheddar
  •     Ethnic & Regional Cheeses: Feta, Paneer, Domiati
  •     Yogurt & Kefir: Bulgarian-Style Yogurt, Kefir Cheese
  •     Butter, Buttermilk and Crème Fraîche: Orange Honey Butter, Clotted Cream
From the back flap:

New step-by-step photos make the art of cheese-making easier than ever!

This bestselling book has been designed to help you create wonderful cheeses that approximate the flavors and textures of many cheeses from around the world — in the comfort of your own kitchen.

Discover and indulge in the taste of fresh handmade cheeses and experience the joy of creating outstanding food from a simple ingredient: fresh milk. These excellent recipes feature step-by- step instructions that take the stress and guesswork out of creating artisanal-quality cheeses at home. You will find recipes for everything from fresh unripened cheeses to aged ones with complex rinds.

An enticing new cover, an all-new 32-page troubleshooting section, new step-by-photos, as well as the new inclusion of preparation times with each recipe will be welcomed by both novice and experienced cheese-makers.

Rounding out this fantastic book are descriptions of basic cheese-making steps and techniques, along with information on and illustrations of all the necessary techniques, equipment and tools. Debra also chronicles the fascinating history of cheese and gives presentation instructions.

Fromage Frais
This fresh, creamy cheese is so delicious you will want to eat it with everything!

•    Draining bag or cloth-lined colander
4 quarts    whole milk    4 L
1⁄4 tsp    aroma or mesophilic culture    1.25 mL
2    drops liquid rennet    2
    Pickling (canning) or kosher salt

1.    Sterilize all equipment (see page 40). In a large stainless-steel pot over medium heat, warm milk to 77°F (25°C), stirring gently to prevent scorching. Remove from heat.
2.    Sprinkle culture over surface of milk and let stand for about 5 minutes to rehydrate. Using skimmer and an up-and-down motion, gently draw culture down into milk without breaking surface of milk.
3.    Dilute rennet in 1 tbsp (15 mL) cool water. Add to milk and, using the same up-and-down motion, draw rennet down into milk until well blended. Cover and let set at room temperature in a draft-free location for 12 hours.
4.    Using skimmer, ladle curd into a draining bag or
cloth-lined colander and let drain. The draining can take several hours; the time depends on how firm you want your final product to be (see Tip, left).
5.    Remove cheese from bag and place in a bowl. Weigh cheese, then add 1% of the weight in salt. Store in the refrigerator for up to 2 weeks (see Tips, page 53).

Tips: Unless otherwise specified, all the recipes use cow’s milk.
The longer the cheese is drained, the firmer it will become. Check at intervals to decide when you think it is
firm enough for your preference. Feel the bottom of the bag with your hand; it should be quite damp but not still freely dripping. You can remove some cheese from the bag to check the consistency, then return it to the bag
to continue draining with no harm done. Remember, as the cheese stands in the refrigerator, it will firm up a bit more.
Makes 2 lbs (1 kg)
25% yield

Excerpted from 200 Easy Homemade Cheese Recipes, Second Edition by Debra Amrein-Boyes
© 2013 Reprinted with publisher permission.