Thursday, June 18, 2009

Fresh Chive Cheese

Matt printed out this recipe when we first started getting into making our own soft cheeses. We had done mozzarella & ricotta so he wanted to see what else was out there to expand our repertoire. Based on Indian chenna, this cheese log is full of the flavor of chive & a touch of lemon. It was super easy to make especially with a stand mixer with a dough hook. 
As we were making it we had a hard time believing this mass of cheese curd was going to turn into a dough like texture but we let the dough hook do its work & like magic the curds became a soft dough. The final chilled texture comes out beautifully firm yet creamy. I was pretty proud to bring this lovely appetizer out & be able to say we'd made it from scratch. Matt absolutely loved it & is ready to make more right away. I think the possible additions for flavoring it are pretty wide though I'd stay away from anything oily (like sundried tomatoes packed in oil) as it will effect the texture of the cheese.

Fresh Chive Cheese
(from Sunset Magazine)

1 gallon whole milk
1/2 c lemon juice
1/2 t salt
2 T fresh chives, chopped

In a large pan heat the milk over medium-high heat until boiling, stirring frequently to prevent scorching. (This will take a long time, it took us close to 45 minutes.) Once the milk is boiling remove it from the heat & stir in the lemon juice. Stir until the white curds separate from the green whey. Let sit for 10 minutes while the curds settle to the bottom of the pan.

Line a large colander with four layers of cheesecloth. Pour the curds & whey into the colander. Rinse with lukewarm water for 5 seconds. Bring the corners of the cheesecloth together & tie them in a knot. Squeeze the curds to form a ball pushing out the whey (be careful not to burn yourself, gloves work good here. Place the cheesecloth wrapped curds back into the colander & top with a plate. Set a 5 pound weight on top (we used a brick). Let sit for 45 minutes.

Unwrap the curd & place in the bowl of a stand mixer with a dough hook. Knead for 10 - 15 minutes until the curds become dough-like, silky & not grainy at all. (You can also do this part by hand though it might take a little longer.) Add the salt & chives & blend to combine. Roll the cheese into a 2-inch log. Wrap in wax paper & chill for at least two hours up to 3 days. Slice to serve

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© 2007-2009 Kathy Lewinski


Lori said...

You should be proud, its a beauty. I need to make this! My husband would go crazy over this.

Jen said...

Wow... I really need to try my hand at this one. It doesn't seem that complicated and the results are fantastic.

friedwontons4u said...

This looks lovely. What are your plans for serving this? I can imagine it will make a great addition on salads.

Alicia Foodycat said...

Your pickled spring onions would be so good with this!

Lori said...

Oh, you tempt me so with your cheeses. :) I've never had Indian chenna before. Your version looks wonderful!

maybelle's mom said...

interesting. Even as an indian, I had never heard of chenna.

Christina Kim said...

I think I could eat this by the spoonful, or just spread it on some nice crackers. Yum!

grace said...

bra. vo. i'm so impressed by your cheese-making prowess. although i haven't heard of this particular kind, it sounds quite lavish and tasty.

Jessie said...

Yum! I've been wanting to make my own cheese for a while now, and this makes me want to do it even more.

Jamie said...

Wow! I am always impressed when someone makes their own cheese (which I actually don't see very often) and a chive cheese sounds fabulous! It sounds like it would taste like a fresh goat cheese.

Kris said...

I'm so excited! I made this cheese this morning and can't wait to get home to try it out tonight. Thanks for the recipe.

Kris said...

Oh my goodness! This is even better than I hope it would be. Thank you, thank you, thank you!

Anonymous said...

Hi, just wondering if you have any tips/knowledge with working with raw, UN-pasteurized, UN-homogenized milk. For one, do I need to pasteurize it? With yogurt I don't want to because of the good bacteria. We have a dairy and it only makes sense to use our milk.. but all of the recipes I always find seem to be from store bought milk. Does it matter? Seems like the cream separation might be a problem... or is that not a problem with cheese making, particularly this one.. as you are mixing it with a mixer. I can buy milk if that's a problem, but everyone used their own milk at some point... Thank you.

kat said...

I wish I had an answer for you, but all the cheese I've made has called for using milk that was high heat pasteurized and we've had problems when it wasn't. We actually had the best results, at least for mozzarella with powdered milk. Maybe find a local cheese maker who might have some more answers.

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