Homemade Flavored Cheese

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After visiting farmer’s markets last year, my mom and I fell in love with the fresh white cheese from a local dairy, which was blended with herbs, garlic, or nuts.  However, at a cost of $5 per 8 oz. container, it’s very expensive.  Due to the price and since the farmer’s markets are closed for the winter, I’ve been trying to think of ways to replicate their yummy fresh cheese.

Last week, I tried the ricotta recipe posted at the Simple, Green, Frugal Co-op, and I was surprised how easy it was.  It got me thinking… I could make some ricotta and blend in flavorings to make a cheese that was close to my favorite farmer’s market cheese for a fraction of the price.

The result? Yummy! Here’s how to do it.

You will need: milk, vinegar or lemon juice, flavorings of your choice (see ideas below).  You’ll also need a thermometer, cheese cloth, a thick-bottomed pot, and wooden spoon.

  1. Make some ricotta cheese.  The photos here show you how easy it is! My helpful hint is to stir continuously so the milk at the bottom of the pan doesn’t burn.
  2. Drain the cheese for a few hours.
  3. Mix in your flavorings.  Here are some ideas, but feel free to experiment or use whatever you have in season.

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Maple Walnut Cheese

  • 1-2 Tbsp maple syrup
  • 2 Tbsp chopped walnuts
  • sprinkle cinnamon

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Garlic Chive Cheese

  • 1 minced clove of garlic
  • 1-2 Tbsp chopped chives
  • salt and pepper to taste

Some other ideas for flavorings I’d like to try include mixing in pesto or honey.  I hope you try it!

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10 Comments

Filed under Food, Recipes, Sustainable Living

10 responses to “Homemade Flavored Cheese

  1. Those flavor blends sound delicious! That is a good tip about the stirring the milk to keep it from scorching. Since we bought restaurant grade stockpots for beer and cheese making, I have been kind of spoiled and I hardly burn anything now! Macy’s carries Martha Stewart’s stainless cookware and I got a great 5 1/2 quart chili pot that is wonderful with a heavy duty bottom.

    Annabelle is beautiful BTW! Makes me miss my Belgians…

  2. Ab,

    Looks like you’ve replicated our favorite cheeses! Do they taste as good as they look? You’re full of hidden talents! You continue to amaze me!

  3. Rob

    I will try it- but I am hooked on Crunchy CHickens creme cheese recipe- I have made with basil and onion flakes, gonna try strawberry-

  4. aja

    Cheese making is something I have been wanting to try – I am inspired to finally give it a shot!

  5. Matron- I used my enameled cast-iron Dutch oven with no problem this time, but last time I used a thinner pot. I just hate the smell of burnt milk! ick.

    Mom- they’re good! I’ll make a batch for you next weekend.

    Rob- Thanks for the link, I’ll have to try it out.

    Aja- go for it! This was only my second time making ricotta.

  6. You are really really tempting me to try this. Okay, I was already tempted and planning but now . . .

  7. Yum! I’ve been wanting to make my own cheese, and I’ll have to try this when I get home.

  8. Just so I’m clear, you can do this with pasteurized, homogenized milk – as in regular store milk? I’d like to try it but just want to make sure I’m not wasting milk.

  9. Jena- Yup, just regular milk from the store. Skim, part skim or whole all work.

  10. Thank you for sharing this. I’m going to bookmark it for future use. Right now we are trying to make sourdough starter… I can only handle one kitchen experiment at a time!

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