Saturday, June 16, 2012

My Adventures in the Land of Cheese . . .

Sorry about the corny title . A bit too much reading Enid Blyton with the small one
 lately , but descriptive nonetheless.
I have had my first go at cheesemaking!
It's something I've wanted to try for a ages, but many varieties of cheese are
 very complicated and take a long time to mature.
Ever one for instant gratification, I thought I'd give Labne a go.
I saw the recipe in the April issue of 'Better Homes and Gardens' -  it only has 3 ingredients and only takes 24 hours!
You need 1kg of Greek yoghurt, 1 cup of buttermilk and 1 teaspoon of fine salt - that's it!
Whisk the three ingredients together in a large bowl until well combined. Then refrigerate for at least half an hour.
When the mixture has chilled, lay a piece of muslin into a clean bowl (I used an old linen teatowel, but the cheesecloth would definitely work better if you have it) and spoon the mixture in.
Gather the edges of the cloth together and tie off (you can use string, but I ran out!). Hang the package over a bowl in the fridge overnight to let the whey drain out. 
N.B. *Don't throw your whey a-way (see what I did there). It's great to use in baking/cooking and also good for protein shakes and sprouting seeds in. I got about 1 and a half cups!*
The next day, unwrap your cheese parcel and use a teaspoon to scoop the mixture into egg shapes and drop into a clean glass jar. Then fill with olive oil, some sprigs of rosemary, some zested strips of orange peel and some black peppercorns.
You can use it straight away or leave it to infuse the flavours in the fridge for a few days. I got 2 full jars (I think they are 400ml) of cheese from the recipe. The kids loved it on crackers and I also used it on my sandwiches with ham and salad. Yum! There's a Labne & Spinach Strudel recipe in the magazine which sounds delicious, but you could use it anywhere you'd use either sour cream or cream cheese - it's kind of like a tart combination of the two.
Let me know if you have a go!
P.S. In decorating news, the art wall is 2/3 done. Yay!

P.P.S. "Patience is the companion of wisdom. "  Saint Augustine

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