I am more than happy to continue to spread the gospel of home cheese making because the fresh cheeses you make yourself are so much better than their commercial counterparts. Imagine, with just a few simple ingredients (milk and vinegar, lemon juice, or citric acid), some heat and methods of straining, before you can list all the names of your favorite cheeses, you’ve made some, in your own kitchen, no less. Just like that.
I enjoy teaching my students the basic science behind it (very simple, I assure you), which really demystifies the process. Believe it or not, in the home kitchen and without too much expense or time, you can make:
- Paneer (the Indian cheese you’ve surely had in restaurants).
- Mexican Queso Blanco (the kind you get in tacos and other Mexican dishes).
- Mozzarella (yes, I’m serious . . . you can do it).
- Ricotta (and you’ll never be able to go back to store bought after you’ve tried the fresh stuff).
- Even goat cheese.
You’ve probably noticed that I’ve only listed soft cheeses, perfectly delicious and incredibly versatile. However, if it’s hard cheese you have in mind, you need to plan for a very different process. Not impossible at all, just longer and with more steps involved.
What do we do with all the fresh cheese we’ve made together in class? The recipes options are many and fun to put together. I recommend baked mozzarella with toasted baguettes, lemon ricotta pancakes, baked goat cheese spread and mutter paneer.
Whether savory or sweet, for breakfast, hors d’oeuvres or dinner, homemade cheese is bound to please . . . you and your dining companions.