March 20, 2013 by drandmrso
You may remember my last (incredibly unsuccessful) attempt at cheesemaking. Great news: I’m back in action and the result this time was just. So. Good.
For the last few weeks I’ve been hemming and hawing about getting back on the proverbial saddle and whipping up a cheese or two. Maybe it was because my last attempt outside of mozzarella was just so atrocious, maybe it was because I started a new job and found lots of excuses not to do it. Who knows. But finally–FINALLY–I saw something that made me spring into action. I subscribe to Cheesemaking.com‘s monthly Moosletter (the name makes it that much better). It’s full of little tidbits about cheesemaking events, new techniques, products for sale, and new recipes to try. Here’s an excerpt from this week’s new recipe from Jim Wallace:
Very Easy Schiz (Schkee)
In Northern Italy, there’s a region called the Dolomites where this cheese has its origins. Traditionally, it is eaten very fresh (and very often!).
This is one of the easiest cheeses we’ve ever featured here. It’s soft and sweet because it’s made without any bacterial culture or salt.
When you fry it up with a little butter, it caramelizes (yum!). In fact, the name actually comes from the sizzling sound it makes in the pan when it’s fried.
Ummmm…yeah. That was about all the convincing I needed. After a quick trip to the People’s Food Coop (the only place in town that I’ve found that carries non-homogenized organic milk), I was ready to rock and roll. First, heat up the milk.
Then you simply add the rennet (the stuff that makes it coagulate) and hang out for half an hour while it does its magic.
When the curd has formed, you cut it up into smaller bits, like so:
After letting the curds rest a few minutes, you heat them up again and cook until they are more solid and satisfactorily squeaky. After pouring off the whey, place the curds in the basket mold and you’re practically done.
Press the curds gently into the mold to help push out the excess whey. Flip the curds over a few times over the next couple of hours. I then stored my cheese in the fridge overnight with a cheese cloth draped over the top. The next evening, my cheese was perfectly squeaky. I cut it into triangles so it would fit in my container, and immediately started cooking.
All you do is place the pieces in a pan with some butter or olive oil and a little salt. Make sure to catch your drool.
Pretty yummy looking, huh? It is. It was a great success. The only problem: because there’s no culture in this cheese it goes bad fairly quickly. So guess what we’re having for dinner the next few nights? Healthy? No. A fantastic treat after a winter with entirely too much shoveling? Absolutely!
The official recipe and lots more information on the history of this type of cheese can be found here on Cheesemaking.com’s site. What are you cooking up in your kitchens these days? Any great successes? Any traumatic failures? I want to hear all about them.