Saturday, July 10, 2010

Neufchatel

This is better living through home-chemistry.  Take a gallon of milk, some bacteria, enzymes, and minerals.  Turn it into a soft, cheesy snack.  How much more adventurous could you be in the kitchen? (unless of course you have a kinky wife...)

I kept some as plain cheese.  The other half was mixed with some fresh garlic, crushed red pepper, and green onions to make a nice spread for crackers.


Ingredients


  • 1 gallon whole milk
  • 1/4 cup cultured buttermilk
  • 1/4 tablet rennet
  • Calcium chloride
  • Salt

Directions


  1. Sterilize everything.  We're going to be growing bacteria, so this is important.
  2. Pour the milk into a large pot.  Add buttermilk.
  3. Add calcium chloride.  Mix thoroughly.  (The place you buy it from should have directions on how much to add)
  4. Apply slow, gradual heat while stirring constantly.  Bring temperature up to 65ºF.
  5. Dissolve the rennet in 1/4 cup cool water.
  6. When milk reaches 65ºF, add water/rennet solution and mix thoroughly.
  7. Remove from heat.   Cover and let stand for 12-24 hours.  Don't disturb it at all.
  8. Once the curd has formed, cut into squares.  Strain through cheesecloth to separate the curd from the whey.
  9. Hang the curd in the fridge for 1-2 days to let remaining whey drip out.
  10. In mixing bowl, combine curds with 1-2 tsp salt.
  11. If desired, mix the cheese with flavorings.  I left half plain and mixed the other half with crushed garlic, crushed red onion, and sliced green onions.
  12. Shape the cheese.  (I used an empty vegetable can)
  13. Serve with crackers.











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