This creamy, savory kefir cheese uses a few simple ingredients and makes a healthy spread for crackers, a dip for veggies, or a unique addition for sandwiches.
1 cup kefir cheese (here’s the recipe)
1 tablespoon minced rosemary (fresh, not dried)
1 clove garlic, crushed and finely minced
5-6 whole walnuts, roughly chopped
Pinch Himalayan sea salt (to taste)
Pinch of freshly ground black pepper (to taste)
Seed crackers, or other hearty crackers
Microgreens or sprouts, for garnish (optional)
Place kefir cheese in a small bowl. Add minced rosemary and garlic and stir to combine. Stir in walnuts. Add a pinch of salt and pepper and mix until thoroughly combined. Taste. Adjust seasonings. Chill.
Spread on hearty seed crackers, and top with a sprinkle of sprouts. Also delicious as a spread on a sandwich or as a dip with veggies.
4 cups homemade kefir, cultured at least 24-48 hours to thicken
Place a large coffee filter (round pleated basket style) in a strainer and place the strainer in a large bowl. Gently pour kefir into the coffee strainer. The whey (the liquid that will seep through the filter) will drip into the bowl. Cover and place in the fridge overnight.
The following morning, remove the cheese from the strainer and reserve the leftover whey that has dripped into the bowl. (Add whey to beverages, smoothies, soups, stir it into your finished kefir. Pets are also very fond of whey as a treat.)
To finish cheese, you can leave it plain and use like cream cheese. Or, add a pinch of salt, pepper, some minced garlic, minced fresh herbs of your choice and pepper. Shape into flattened ball, wrap tightly in plastic wrap and store in refrigerator. Serve with crackers.
YIELD: 1 cup
The following recipe is from Beginning Cheese Making preservation workshop, presented by Mountain Feed and Farm Supply at the Aptos Farmers Market.
2-3 gallons goat milk or cow milk
1 packet mesophilic DVI Culture – OR – 4 oz. mesophilic culture from a mother culture
1 teaspoon liquid rennet dissolved in 1/2 cup water (NOTE: I use 1/2 teaspoon double strength vegetable rennet – check the brand you are using to see if it’s regular or double strength)
Brine: 1/2 cup salt (Kosher) per 1/2 gallon of water (boiled and cooled to below room temperature)
Sterilize all equipment before using.
In a double boiler or sink with warm water, bring your goat milk up to 86°F (or 88°F for cow milk). Stir in the culture, cover and let ripen for one hour at 86°F.
Keeping the milk at 86°F (or 88°F for cow milk), add the diluted rennet and stir briskly for 15 seconds, making sure the rennet is evenly distributed. Cover and let set for 30-40 minutes or until you get a “clean break.”
Cut the curd in to 1/2 inch pieces, let the curds rest for 10-15 minutes, then stir gently, cutting any large pieces down to size. This process will help the curd firm up and release more whey.
Gently ladle the curd into a cheesecloth-lined colander. Let drain for about two hours in the colander, then turn it and hang for 24 hours. Take down the cheese and cut into 2-3 inch blocks and let sit at room temperature for 2-3 days, then put blocks into brine to age until ready to use. The cheese will continue to gain flavor for up to 6 months in the fridge.
SOURCE: Recipe courtesy of Mountain Feed and Farm Supply. Cheese making supplies are available at Mountain Feed and Farm Supply.
1 gallon goat milk
1 DVI chèvre culture
Cheesecloth or butter muslin
Bring the milk up to 86°F and add direct set culture, stir well and set aside for 18-24 hours, keeping the temperature between 70-80°.
After this period, the curds should be separated from the whey into one large mass in the middle. Gently ladle the curd into cheesecloth-lined colander and let sit for one hour to drain off initial moisture.
After one hour, take the corners of your cheesecloth and hang the curd for 4-8 hours to drain (the longer the draining time, the drier/more crumbly the chevre. When you’ve achieved the consistency you like, remove from cheesecloth and mix in any additions you’d like (salt, herbs, dried fruit, etc.).
SOURCE: Recipe courtesy of Mountain Feed and Farm Supply. Cheese making supplies are avilable from Mountain Feed and Farm Supply.
YOU WILL NEED:
PREPARE YOUR WORK AREA:
FOR MICROWAVE HEATING:
FOR STOVE TOP STRETCHING:
SOURCE: Ricki Carrol and Mountain Feed and Farm Supply. Cheese making supplies are available from Mountain Feed and Farm Supply.