Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Brined Pork Chops with Grilled Nectarines and Citrus Honey Vinaigrette

Two things.
1. Pork loves fruit.
2. Grilled pork loves grilled fruit.
See where I am going with this?
If you are going to the trouble (what trouble? You are outside grilling in great weather with a drink in your hand!) of firing up the grill, of getting those beautiful caramelized grill marks on your pork chops, you should definitely be grilling up your accompanying fruit. In this case, nectarines.
Grilling fruit is easy, you just want to make sure it is somewhat firm and that your grill is well oiled. The fruit pairs wonderfully with pork and poultry and some fish, and is awesome on vanilla bean ice cream!
In this recipe, adapted from Michael Symon, the grilled fruit is tossed in a floral and fragrant vinaigrette and served on top of the tender chops. Yum!

Brined Pork Chops with Grilled Nectarines and Citrus Honey Vinaigrette
adapted liberally from Michael Symon, Live to Cook
for Michael Symon Sundays with Ashlee Wetherington
Serves 8

Ingredients:
8 pork chops, trimmed
Kosher salt
Sugar

1 tbsp minced garlic
3 tbsp minced shallot
2 tbsp honey
1/3 cup balsamic honey
1/2 cup + 2 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
1 tbsp coriander seeds, toasted and crushed
1/4 cup fresh mint leaves, chopped
Grated zest and juice of 1 orange

6 firm nectarines, quartered (pit removed)

Directions:

One hour before grilling: fill a large shallow bowl with cold water. Stir in a handful of kosher salt and half a handful of sugar. Place chops in the bowl and cover. (Never brined a pork chop? You don't know what you are missing! Brining makes the chops perfectly tender and delicious. Cold water and a 2:1 ratio of kosher salt to sugar - anything more than an hour should be kept in the fridge)

Make the vinaigrette: in a small bowl, combine the garlic and shallot and toss them with 1 tsp kosher salt. Add the honey and vinegar, then whisk in 1/2 cup of the olive oil. Add the coriander, mint, and orange zest and juice.

Heat up that grill!

Grill the nectarines and then toss them into the vinaigrette.
Take the chops out of the brine, pat dry, and brush with the 2 tbsp olive oil and season with kosher salt and cracked black pepper. Grill to desired texture and doneness. Tent with foil on a plate for 5 minutes and serve, topped with the fruit and vinaigrette mixture.

Shown: 3 chops

Monday, June 28, 2010

Mellow Bakers June Breads

This month the Mellow Bakers made three fun breads from Jeffrey Hamelman's Bread. Well, actually there were three versions of the last one so technically up to six breads.. but I digress.
We made Beer Bread with Roasted Barley, which I have made into these cute little buns.

You could actually smell the beer more than you could taste it, and my experiments in sprouting barley for this bread were not successful so I ended up toasting some barley flour and adding a little liquid barley malt to the recipe. Yum! All's well that ends well and for some reason teenage boys are especially tickled to know that their bread is made with beer. I used Guinness, which I buy mostly for cooking and baking. I am a Canadian gal myself. Molson Canadian that is.

Bite?

Always a favourite, we made Hamelman's Pizza Dough. It gets retarded overnight, (another thing that tickles teenagers), to develop the flavour and tang of the dough, and baked off in a super hot oven with your choice of ingredients artfully arranged on top. Bread bakers go easy on the toppings, we like our creation to shine through in all its natural bready wonder.

I topped mine with a little tomato sauce, tomatoes, fresh basil, and mozzarella cheese. I wish I could tell you that it was fresh mozzarella di bufala campana.. but it was plain old mozza, shredded up. Still delicious though!

And then we got into Hamelman's signature loaves, his Vermont Sourdoughs. The first one I did was his straight Vermont Sourdough, it is mostly white bread flour with a little rye in the finished loaf. They all start with a liquid levain (sourdough starter) that takes about a week to build up. I named it Jeffrey, naturally. (He may be honoured that I have named it after him.. but not when he realizes the fate that poor Peter suffered- the poor dear was neglected last month and succumbed to mould. Sigh. R.I.P. Peter)

It is dense and holey and tangy and delicious! Great with natural peanut butter slathered all over it.

Then I tried the Vermont Sourdough with Whole Wheat. It is largely the same, the whole wheat just taking the place of the rye in the finished loaf - a rather small proportion.
I experimented a bit and "spiked" the dough - that is, I added a pinch of instant yeast to lighten up the crumb and hedge my bets a bit. Not a full serving of yeast of course, but just a pinch.
You can see that the sourdough holes are roughly the same but the texture of the interior crumb is a bit lighter. They both have their place, and it was fun to do a side-by-side comparison.
Hubs thought that this loaf might have been slightly less tangy - it had had the same exact amount of sourdough starter and build up, and roughly the same rising times - but the whole wheat would also be less tangy than the rye.
I intend to try his third version tomorrow, while Jeffrey (the liquid levain) is still alive, the Vermont Sourdough with Increased Whole Grains, but I figured I would go ahead and post today. You've seen two Vermont Sourdoughs you've seen them all, right? Maybe I'll try retarding those loaves, for further experimenting...

So, ready to come bake with us?

MellowBakers.com

Sunday, June 27, 2010

Pasta Loves Peppers

Noodles are the ultimate comfort food. So versatile, they can carry the flavours of any cuisine proudly. In the winter a slow cooked sauce with tender noodles can warm your spirits, but in the summer I like to pair them with garden veggies and bright flavours. One of my favourite summer veggies is the red pepper. Green peppers have their place but the sweetness of the ripe red pepper brings summery happiness to my heart. Between the baskets of fresh summer peppers and the giant jars of roasted red peppers, I am never without.
Here are two delicious pasta and red pepper pairings, starting with Pasta with Red Pepper Hummus, which can be served warm but is also perfect for a summer meal on the patio, at room temperature. It is also perfect to present for Souper Sundays, Kahakai Kitchen's weekly celebration of Soups, Salads, and Sammies. Deb is the healthy-eating angel on my shoulder and I am sure these recipes will delight her.

Pasta with Red Pepper Hummus
Pasta East to West, A Vegetarian World Tour, Nava Atlas
4-6 servings
This makes a good picnic dish-it's sturdy and quite good at room temperature.

Ingredients:
10 ounces rotini, gemelli, or penne, or any short pasta shape
1 16-ounce can chickpeas, drained and rinsed
1/4 cup tahini (sesame paste)
Juice of 1 lemon
1 tsp ground cumin
1-2 cloves garlic, crushed, or 1/2 tsp garlic powder
1 12-ounce jar roasted red peppers, with liquid
1/4 to 1/2 cup chopped fresh parsley, or to taste
2 to 3 scallions, minced

Directions:
Cook the pasta in plenty of rapidly simmering water until al dente, then drain.

Meanwhile, combine the chickpeas, tahini, lemon juice, cumin, and garlic in a food processor. Add half of the red peppers along with all their liquid, and reserve the remaining red peppers. Process until the mixture is completely smooth. If it's too thick, add a small amount of water to thin.

Chop the reserved red peppers into fairly short, narrow strips. Combine them in a large serving bowl with the pasta, sauce, parsley, and scallions. Toss well and serve.

Note: When reheating leftovers, add a small amount of water, as the sauce thickens as it stands.

These recipes are from a great little book, Pasta East to West, that has a diverse range of vegetarian pasta dishes inspired by countries and flavours from all around the world.
Everyone loves pasta - this book will help you expand your veggie pasta repertoire with dishes such as Singapore-Style Rice Noodles with Tofu (with both a yellow curry and red curry recipe), Tomato-Tortellini Soup, Mixed Mushroom Stroganoff, Sweet and Sour Noodles with Tempeh and Vegetables, Vegetable Lo Mein, Mexican Sopa Seca De Fideo (Vermicelli "Dry Soup"), Lukschen Kugel (Jewish Sweet Noodle Pudding) and also includes a final chapter on Partners for Pasta and Noodles: Simple Sides and Salads.

Nava Atlas is the author of many vegetarian books, including Vegetariana, Vegetarian Celebrations, Vegan Express, Vegetarian Soups for All Seasons, you can learn more about her and her books on her website, In a Vegetarian Kitchen.

Pasta East to West is 7x8, 224 pages

Herbed Orzo-Stuffed Bell Peppers
Pasta East to West, A Vegetarian World Tour, Nava Atlas
4 servings
Stuffed bell peppers are high on my list of comfort foods. Italian Artichoke and Asparagus Frittata (page 188) is a good accompaniment, along with a colorful mixed salad.

Ingredients:
2 cups strong vegetable stock, or 2 cups water with 1 vegetable bouillon cube, or 1 15-ounce can vegetable broth
1 scant cup orzo or rosa marina (rice-shaped pasta)
1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
1 medium onion, finely chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 large celery stalk, finely diced
1 cup fine fresh bread crumbs (see note)
1 cup frozen petite green peas, thawed
1/4 tsp dried oregano
1/4 tsp basil
1/4 tsp thyme
1/4 tsp rosemary
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
4 medium green or red bell peppers, or two of each

Directions:
Bring the stock to a simmer in a large saucepan. Stir in the orzo and simmer steadily until the water is absorbed, about 12 minutes. The orzo should be al dente, but if not tender enough, add another 1/3 cup water, and simmer until it is absorbed.

Meanwhile, heat the oil in a medium skillet. Add the onion, garlic, and celery, and sauté over medium heat until the mixture is golden. Stir in the bread crumbs, peas, and herbs, and continue to sauté for 5 minutes more, stirring. Season to taste with salt and pepper, then remove from the heat. (Add orzo)

Carefully cut a thin slice off the top of each bell pepper to remove the stem. Cut a very thin slice off the bottom of each pepper so that they will stand more steadily. Rinse the inside of each bell pepper to remove excess seeds.

Divide the orzo mixture among the peppers. Place them in a small baking dish in which they will stand securely. Cover with a lid or loosely with foil. Bake until the peppers are just tender, about 30-40 minutes. (in a preheated oven at 350F)

Note: to make fresh bread crumbs, simply place 2 slices of soft whole grain bread in a food processor fitted with the steel blade. Process until the bread is reduced to fine crumbs.

These were lots of fun and totally yummy. They would also be great with some cheese if you eat it, maybe a Parmesan or pecorino romano. I baked mine laying down as they were rather elongated peppers. Have fun with your food!
SouperSundays

Saturday, June 26, 2010

Stawberries with Swedish Cream

Nothing says summer like fresh berries, so for this week's IHCC Mark Bittman Summer Lovin' theme I made his Strawberries with Swedish Cream.
The cream is given a tart edge with the addition of sour cream and elegance with good liqueur. I added superfine sugar and the amaretto after the cream developed soft peaks, about 2 tbsp each or so, and continued to whip a little longer. Then folded in the sour cream and served over quartered large berries. Simple, summery and delicious!

This wee cherry is from my small harvest in my backyard. Hubby planted a cherry tree for me a few years back for Mother's Day and this is the first time we have had cherries to pick. (Okay, there was one cherry last year that got eaten by a bird) But this year there are three and four cherries at once! So, enough for garnishing anyway.

Strawberries With Swedish Cream
Mark Bittman, NYT Diner's Journal

Yield 4 to 6 servings

Time 10 minutes

Ingredients

* 1 cup heavy cream
* 1/2 cup sour cream
* Sugar or honey to taste
* 1 tablespoon any liqueur, like Cointreau or amaretto (optional)
* 1 quart strawberries, washed, hulled, and left whole

Method

* 1. Whip the sweet cream until it holds soft peaks, then fold it into the sour cream; add sugar to taste and liqueur if you like.
* 2. Put the berries in four to six bowls or stemmed glasses and top with the cream.


IHCC

Friday, June 25, 2010

Simply in Season, 12 Months of Wine Country Cooking

Simply in Season
12 months of wine country cooking
Tony de Luca
Softcover, 224 pages

Tony de Luca is an award-wining chef in Canada's celebrated Niagara wine region. His first book, Recipes from Wine Country was very well received and his newest book, Simply in Season is absolutely stunning. He starts off with a small biography, tracing his influences and experiences as a chef as well as the philosophy of food and cooking that he has developed.
In a region with four distinct seasons, as well as a rich bounty of fresh, local produce, de Luca has had the pride and pleasure of working with the seasons and developing recipes that respect the ingredients and showcase them at their best.
The chapters are arranged by month, focusing on the ingredients that are in their prime at that time. "Mother Nature demands respect, and could there be anything more satisfying than offering that respect?"
I would say that these recipes are not for the very new or beginner cooks, they do require a little skill and finesse, but they are not so fussy that anyone with a reasonable amount of comfort in the kitchen couldn't proudly prepare them for friends and family. 30 minute meals have their place, but it is a pleasure to savour the building of a gourmet meal at home.
That being said, they are not overly complicated and indeed are very inspiring. I bookmarked about half the book before settling on a couple of dishes to prepare.
Some of the bookmarked dishes include:
  • Chicken Liver Pâté with Pickled Eggplant and Roasted Garlic-Onion Jam
  • Sesame and Polenta Crusted Scallops with Chardonnay-Braised Red Cabbage and Ginger Beurre Blanc
  • Vanilla Pots de Crème with Strawberry-Rhubarb Compote
  • Fresh Tuna Salad "Niagar-oise" with Canadian Mustard
  • Halibut Fillets Crusted in Peanuts, Capers, and Sultanas with Warm Spicy Romaine Salad
  • Sparkling Wine and Yellow Tomato Gazpacho with Zucchini Bread
  • and The Perfect Cheese Soufflé
So you can see why I had such a hard time settling on just a couple!

You may find that your favourite bookseller has Simply in Season with this alternative book jacket, rest assured that it is the same beautiful book.

After whipping up some awesome Salmon and Seafood Burgers on Herb Buns (you know I am a sucker for homemade bread!) for my seafood-loving hubby, I made the most wonderful desserts..

Sour Cream Panna Cotta with Blueberry Beignets! I love panna cotta and these ones were light and creamy and silky and tangy with the addition of sour cream and fresh lemon juice. The beignets, a traditional French doughnut made from bread dough, are fried to perfection and studded with sweet bursts of local blueberries. I know you want to make these this summer, so the publishers have given me the recipe to share with you!

Sour Cream Panna Cotta with Blueberry Beignets
The beauty of this dish is its simplicity. Panna cotta literally translates to “cooked cream,” and that’s really all there is to it. I particularly love pairing the panna cotta with the warm blueberry beignets, as the contrast in temperatures and textures is delicious.
Serves 8

Sour Cream Panna Cotta
1 cup (250 mL) sour cream
1 cup (250 mL) 35% cream
1 cup (250 mL) half-and-half cream (10%)
1 cup (250 mL) granulated sugar
½ cup (125 mL) lemon juice
10 sheets gelatin or 2½ Tbsp (37.5 mL) unflavoured powdered gelatin

In a medium saucepan, combine the sour cream, 35% cream, and half-and-half and bring to a simmer. Add the sugar and lemon juice, stirring until the sugar has dissolved. Remove the saucepan from the heat.

Meanwhile, in a large bowl, soak the gelatin sheets in enough cold water just to cover them, for about 5 minutes or until softened. Remove the gelatin from the bowl, squeezing the sheets to remove the excess water. (If you are using powdered gelatin, sprinkle the gelatin over 3 Tbsp/45 mL cold water in a small bowl and let stand for 5 minutes or until puffy. Set the bowl in a small saucepan of simmering water and stir gently until melted.)

Add the gelatin to the hot cream mixture and stir well. Pour into eight ½-cup (125 mL) espresso cups or ramekins. Refrigerate until set.

Blueberry Beignets
¼ cup (60 mL) granulated sugar, divided
1½ tsp (7.5 mL) active dry yeast
½ cup (125 mL) evaporated milk
1 egg, lightly beaten
2 Tbsp (30 mL) shortening
½ tsp (2 mL) table salt
3½ cups (875 mL) all-purpose flour
1 cup (250 mL) fresh blueberries
non-stick baking spray
vegetable oil for deep-frying
icing sugar for dusting

In a small bowl, dissolve 2 tsp (10 mL) of the granulated sugar in ¾ cup (185 mL) warm water. Sprinkle in the yeast and let stand for 10 minutes or until the yeast is bubbly.

In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, mix together the remaining sugar, the evaporated milk, egg, shortening, and salt. Add the yeast mixture and beat until smooth. Beat in the flour, ½ cup (125 mL) at a time, until a soft, sticky dough forms. Stir in the blueberries just until combined.

Spray a clean bowl with baking spray and transfer the dough to the bowl. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 6 hours or overnight.

On a lightly floured surface, roll out the dough to form a rectangle about 20 × 16 inches (50 × 40 cm) and ¼ inch (6 mm) thick. Using a sharp chef ’s knife, cut the dough into squares about 2½ inches (6 cm).

Heat the oil in a deep pot until a candy thermometer registers 360°f (1 82°c), or use a deep fat fryer and follow the manufacturer’s instructions. Fry the beignets, a few at a time to avoid overcrowding, for about 2 minutes, turning frequently, until golden brown. Using a slotted spoon, transfer the beignets to a rack lined with paper towels and set over a baking sheet to cool.

To serve, place each espresso cup of sour-cream panna cotta on its saucer or a dessert plate. Or if you used ramekins, run a thin sharp knife or a small spatula around the edges of the panna cotta to release them. Invert each ramekin onto a dessert plate. Dust the blueberry beignets generously with icing sugar and serve alongside the panna cottas.


Thursday, June 24, 2010

Royal Crown's Tortano - A Bread Baking Babes Rewind

Is bigger better? Generally.
Unless of course you are talking spiders - then bigger is definitely not better. But delicious artisan bread - insanely huge and light enough to almost defy gravity - now that is a good thing.
This is a two-day loaf, a wet dough that puffs up like an odd jellied air balloon while it is rising and bakes up into a delicious, crusty-on-the-outside and soft-as-a-cloud-on-the-inside loaf, big enough to impress friends and family alike.
Serve it with a saucy Italian meal and robust red wine and tear into it with abandon.

Royal Crown's Tortano
(from Artisan Baking Across America by Maggie Glazer)
Online recipe sourced from Glenna, A Fridge Full of Food

Recipe Quantity: One (1) 2 1/4lb (1200 gram) tortano

Time Required for Recipe: About 19 hours, with about 20 minutes of active work

Note about recipe: You will need to start this recipe the night BEFORE you want to bake the bread.

This is the most beautiful bread Royal Crown makes, a huge round loaf filled with radish size air cells, tanks to careful handling and lots of water in the dough. Joe adds potato for flavor and moistness and honey for color to this very wet, squishy dough. For extra flavor, the bread is leavened solely by its starter, so it rises very slowly and develops a nice but not aggressive acidity. To get authentic Italian flavor, you will need to bake this bread to a deep, dark brown so don't skimp on the baking time - the bread will not burn.

Recipe Synopsis

The Evening Before Baking: Make the starter and if you like the mashed potato.

The Next Morning: Mix the dough and let it ferment for about 4 hours. Shape it, proof it for about 1 1/2 hours, and then bake the bread for about 45 minutes.

The Evening Before Baking: Making the Pre-Ferment:

Ingredients Volume (English units)
1/4 tsp instant yeast
1 cup water 105 - 115 degrees F
2/3 cup unbleached bread flour
1 small potato

Ingredients Weight
1/4 tsp instant yeast
1 cup water 105 - 115 degrees F
3.5 ounces unbleached bread flour
3 ounce small potato

Ingredients Metric
1/4 tsp instant yeast
1 cup water 105 - 115 degrees F
100 grams unbleached bread flour
85 grams small potato

Ingredients Baker's Percentages
eventually 0.3% instant yeast
eventually 73% water 105 - 115 degrees F
100% unbleached bread flour
1 small potato

Stir the yeast into the water in a glass measure and let it stand for 5 - 10 minutes. Add 1/3 cup of this yeasted water (discard the rest) to the flour and beat this very sticky starter until it is well combined. Cover with plastic wrap and let it ferment until it is full of huge bubbles and sharp tasting, about 12 hours. If your kitchen is very warm and the pre-ferment is fermenting very quickly, place it in the refrigerator after 3 hours of fermenting. In the morning, remove it and allow it to come to room temperature 30 minutes to an hour before beginning the final dough

Preparing the Potato: For efficiency, you may want to prepare the potato the night before. Quarter it, then boil it in water to cover until it can be easily pierced with a knife tip, about 20 minutes. Drain; if desired, reserve the water for the dough. Press the potato through a ricer or sieve to puree it and remove the skin. Store it in a covered container in the refrigerator. You will need only 1/4 cup puree.

Bake Day: Mixing the Dough

Ingredients Volume (English units)
3 3/4 cups unbleached bread flour
1 3/4 cups plus 3 Tbsp Water, including the potato water if desired, lukewarm
Pre-ferment
2 tsp honey
1/4 cup packed Potato puree
1 Tbsp salt

Ingredients Weight
20 ounces unbleached bread flour
14.6 ounces Water, including the potato water if desired, lukewarm
Pre-ferment
0.4 ounces honey
2 ounces Potato puree
0.5 ounces salt

Ingredients Metric
575 grams unbleached bread flour
420 grams Water, including the potato water if desired, lukewarm
Pre-ferment
14 grams honey
60 grams Potato puree
15 grams salt

Ingredients Baker's Percentages
100% unbleached bread flour
73% Water, including the potato water if desired, lukewarm
30% Pre-ferment
2% honey
10% Potato puree
2.4% salt

By Hand: Use your hands to mnix the flour and water into a rough, very wet dough in a large bowl. Cover the dough and let rest (autolyse) for 10 - 20 minutes.

Add the pre-ferment, honey, potato, and salt, and knead the dough until it is smooth, 5 - 10 minutes. It will start off feeling rubbery, then break down into goo; if you persist, eventually it will come together into a smooth, shiny dough. If you do not have the skill or time to knead it to smoothness, the bread will not suffer. This is a tremendously wet and sticky dough, so use a dough scraper to help you but do not add more flour, for it will ruin the texture of the bread.

By Stand Mixer: With your hands or a wooden spoon, mix the flour and water into a rough, very wet dough in the work bowl of your mixer. Cover the dough and let it rest (autolyse) for 10 - 20 minutes.

Fit the mixer with the dough hook. Add the pre-ferment, honey, potato and salt and the mix the dough on medium speed for 15 - 20 minutes, or until very silky and wraps around the hook and cleans the bowl before splaterring back around the bowl. This dough is almost pourably wet.

Fermenting and Turning the Dough:
Shape the dough into a ball and roll it in flour. Place it in a container at least 3 times its size and cover tightly with plastic wrap. Let it ferment until doubled in bulk and filled with large air bubbles, about 4 hours. Using plenty of dusting flour, turn the dough 4 times in 20 minute intervals, that is, after 20, 40, 60, and 80 minutes of fermenting, the leave the dough undisturbed for the remaining time. Do not allow this dough to over ferment or forment to the point of collapse, for the flavor and structure of your bread will suffer.

Shaping and Proofing the Dough:
Turn the fermented dough out onto a well floured work surface, round it and let it rest for 20 minutes. Sprinkle a couche or wooden board generously with flour. Slip a baking sheet under the couche if you are using one for support.

Sprinkle a generous amount of flour over the center of the ball. Push your fingers into the center to make a hole, the rotate your hand around the hole to widen it, making a large 4 inch opening. The bread should have about 12 inch diameter.

Place the dough smooth side down on the floured couche or board and dust the surface with more flour. Drape it with plastic wrap and let it proof until it is light and slowly springs back when lightly pressed, about 1 1/2 hours.

Preheating the Oven:
Immediately after shaping the bread, arrange a rack on the oven's second to top shelf and place a baking stone on it. Clear away all the racks above the one being used. Preheat the oven to 450 degrees (230 C)

Baking the Bread:
Unwrap the bread and flip it onto a floured peel or a sheet of parchment paper. Do not worry about damaging the bread as you handle it; it will recover int eh oven as long as it is not overproofed. Slash it with 4 radial cuts in the shape of a cross. Slide the loaf onto the hot baking stone and bake until it is very dark brown, 40 -50 minutes, rotating it halfway into the bake. Let the bread cool on a rack.

This bread has been Yeastspotted!

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Further Adventures in Cheese - Homemade Feta!

This month in Forging Fromage we made homemade Feta! Who knew it was so easy? This particular recipe calls for goat's milk - which I have found out the hard way is seriously expensive here. Why? I don't know. I have driven in the country, I have seen goats. It's not like they are a foreign entity here.
We were going to go for cow's milk, which we can get for $5 a gallon (4 litres), rather than the $7 per quart (litre) of goat's milk... but at the last minute hubs came home with a little of both. Goat's milk does make for lovely, tangy, and delicate cheese. Cow's milk is cheap. We compromised. (Remind me to get to know some dairy farmers - where does one meet a dairy farmer?)
Anyhoo... the feta was fun and relatively easy to make and absolutely delicious. With the price of the goat milk I would say that it costs relatively the same to make it at home as it is to buy it (here) - but if I went with all cow next time it would be very economical indeed.
Next up - gouda!
Are you ready to come forge with us?

Goat's Milk Feta (a fresh cheese)
adapted from The Home Creamery
yield: ~1 lb.

Ingredients
1 gallon goat's milk (I used 1/2 goat and 1/2 cow)
1/4 c. cultured buttermilk
1/2 tsp. liquid rennet
1/4 c. cool water (55-60 degrees F)
(I added 1/2 tsp calcium chloride in 1/4 cup cool water)
coarse salt

1. Warm the milk to 88 degrees F over low heat in a large, heavy-bottomed pot. Check the temp. with a thermometer. Stir in the buttermilk. Cover and let stand for 1 hour. Remove the pot from heat.

2. In a small cup, dissolve the rennet in the water. Add this mixture to the milk and stir for 30 seconds. Remove the pot from the heat, cover, and let stand for 1 hour longer to coagulate.

3. Using a knife, cut the curds into 1" cubes. Stir gently for 15 minutes, keeping curds at 88 degrees F.

4. Pour the curds carefully into a butter muslin-lined colander, tie together the ends of the muslin to make a bag, and hang in a cool room or in the refrigerator to drain for 4-6 hours.

5. Remove the cheese from the muslin, slice the cheese ball in half, and lay the slabs of cheese in a dish that can be covered. Sprinkle all the surfaces with coarse salt, cover, and allow to set at room temp for 24 hours. After 24 hours, salt all the surfaces again and let the cheese rest for 2 hours.

6. Place the cheese in a covered dish and refrigerate up to 2 weeks or freeze for future use.
(Mine is in a salty brine)


forgingfromagebutton2