Roasted and Salted Peanuts in the Shell

It’s Food ‘n Flix time again! In this monthly group a ‘host’ picks a movie of their choice that pertains to food. Everyone watches the movie and then makes a recipe which the film inspired. It can be any recipe you want.

I’m so excited to be hosting this month again. It really is a fun group to get involved with and I love to see what the other participants come up with after we all see the same movie. I chose a very entertaining comedy drama that would require a little bit of mind flexing in choosing a recipe. The movie is not all about food but it plays a role. The movie in question is The Terminal and I decided to prepare Roasted and Salted Peanuts in the Shell.

salted and roasted peanuts pre macro

Tasty reading ahead, KEEP GOING… →

Cheesepalooza: Gouda

This is the 7th month of the worldwind Cheesepalooza challenge. February is getting down with washed curds.  This month we were asked to make a Havarti, Edam, Fontina or Gouda. I opted for the Dutch creamy and buttery Gouda cheese.

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If you want to see the whole process of making cheese, from flocculation to cutting the curd and releasing the whey, check out my earlier post. What sets this recipe apart is the washed curds technique. Once the curd has been cut there are a few techniques that allow you to get as much whey out of the curds. One way is to drain part of the whey, then add hot water to raise the temperature of the curds to a specified degree. Here we do this twice in a row, elevating the temperature again on the second wash.

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The brine recipe I got here. Once you are done brinning just put the brine in a thick freezer zip-lock bag and keep it in the freezer till you need it again. Keep in mind the liquid will not become soild so make use it is place somewhere it will stay upright.

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This Gouda was inspired by this recipe but I modified the last bit. There are lots of conflicting opinions when it comes to the drying and aging part. I opted for a shorter drying time of 7 days instead of 21. I think the later is too much and would make the cheese to dry. I waxed it at 7 days and it has now been aging in the fridge for 1 month.

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Gouda

Recipe Type: Cheese and Dairy
Author: Home Cheese Making by Ricki Carroll
Serves: 1 pound
Ingredients
  • 1 gallon whole milk
  • 2 ounces mesophilic starter culture
  • 1/4 teaspoon calcium chloride diluted in 1/4 cup cool water
  • 1/4 teaspoon liquid rennet diluted in 1/4 cup cool water
  • ½ gallon water
  • 1 pounds cheese salt
  • ½ tablespoon calcium chloride
  • ½ teaspoon vinegar
Instructions
  1. Heat the milk to 90 degrees. Add the culture and mix well. Cover and allow the milk to ripen for 10 minutes.
  2. Add diluted calcium chloride and mix for 30 seconds.
  3. Add the diluted rennet and stir gently with an up-and-down motion for 1 minute.
  4. Cover and let the milk set at 90 degrees for 1 hour, or until the curds give a clean break.
  5. Toward the end of the hour, start heating your pot of water.
  6. Cut the curd into 1/2-inch cubes. Let them set for 10 minutes.
  7. Drain off one-third of the whey.
  8. Stirring continuously, slowly add just enough 175 degree water to raise the temperature of the curd to 92 degrees.
  9. Let the curd settle again for 10 minutes. Drain off the whey to the level of the curd.
  10. Once again, while stirring constantly, slowly add just enough 175 degree water to bring the temperature of the curd to 100 degrees. Keep the curd at 100 degrees for 15 minutes, stirring often to keep the curds from matting.
  11. Allow the curds to set for 30 minutes. Pour off remaining whey.
  12. Quickly place the warm curds in a 1-pound cheese mold lined with cheesecloth, breaking them as little as possible. Press at 20 pounds of pressure for 20 minutes.
  13. Remove the cheese from the mold and gently peel away the cheesecloth. Turn over the cheese, re-dress it, and press at 40 pounds of pressure for 20 minutes.
  14. Repeat the process (turn over the cheese, re-dress it) but press at 50 pounds of pressure for 8 hours. Remove from the press delicately.
  15. Make a brine using 1 pound of cheese salt stired until disolved. Mix in calcium chloride and vinegar.
  16. Soak the cheese in the brine in the refrigerator, 3 hours per pound of cheese. Flip it every 45 minutes. Remove the cheese from the brine and pat dry.
  17. Air dry in the fridge on a matt for 7 days.
  18. Wax the cheese. Age it at 50 degrees for 3-4 months, turning it 3 or 4 times a week.

 

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What do you do when a cheese recipe says to age your cheese in a cheese cave at say 50 F with an 80% humidity index….but without the cheese cave? Get an air tight container, put a couple of chopsticks on the bottom, place your cheese on top so air can pass underneath it. The cheese should take about 40% of the space. Ball up a wet paper towel in the opposite corner of the container. Keep an eye on the humidity level with a hygrometer. If you are air drying a cheese and it starts to crack you can place it in this type of container for a few days: by equalizing the humidity inside and out the cracks will heal.

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I’ll be out for next month’s challenge but will be back in 2 months for Brie or Camembert!

If you want to learn more about cheese making check out my past posts on

Cheesepalooza: Romano

Time flies, I was late with my last cheese post so you are getting another one already. We are at the 6th month of Cheesepalooza. This January we were asked to make a Parmesan, Asiago, Romano , or Brick. When I grew up and it was spaghetti night, my mom always set Parmesan and Romano grated cheese at the table. Granted it was the fake Kraft stuff. Well I always went heavier on the Romano as I found it had a sharper flavor. So decided to make a Romano of course.

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Romano at just under 2 months

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My weird final curds

If you want to see the whole process of making cheese, from flocculation to cutting the curd and releasing the whey, check out my earlier post. I  always seem to combine more than one recipe when I make a cheese. The reason is because I use calcium chloride in my recipes since I use store bought milk. Not all recipes list it. This Romano is a mix of this recipe and this recipe. If you use Lipase for flavor like I did, make sure to get half whole milk and half skim milk to lower the fat content.

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My new cheese press woohoo!

I made a couple of new discoveries too this month. The first major improvement is my new cheese press. Everyone stand up and say: YAY! A press becomes essential when you get into these types of cheeses. Unfortunately a new press at cheese supply stores start at $150. Ouch! Well I took a look on Ebay and I found one for $50 shipping included. I jumped on the Buy Now button. It’s homemade and not absolutely perfect but it is a cheese press and it works great. So happy.

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After first press – butter muslin under cheese

Turns out a friend’s dad tried for 2 months to make cheese and moved on to another hobby. When he found out about my experiments he gave me all his cheese stuff. That was so nice, thank you Raquel’s dad! I got a book, ingredients, a cheese ladle, cheese wax and also butter muslin. OMG I will never use cheesecloth again! Butter muslin is a much tight weave so 1 layer is usually enough and, the best part, you can was it and reuse it. Not a bad idea to disinfect it too after each use in boiling water.

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After second press

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After third press

The brine recipe I got here. Once you are done brinning just put the brine in a thick freezer zip-lock bag and keep it in the freezer till you need it again. Keep in mind the liquid will not become soild so make use it is place somewhere it will stay upright.

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Bathing in brine

So this recipe was a challenge for me. I am starting to believe that cheeses made with mesophilic culture and buttermilk guarantee success for me. Anything using citric acid or thermophilic culture failure is lurking. This claim is entirely based on my gut instinct. The last two cultures always make my milk turn to curd or ricotta. I added the rennet and went straight to the supposed end curd result. Technically it may not be Romano in the end but it is a cheese.

My cheese is almost 2 months old now and I will soon rub it with olive oil. Mold has not been an issue so far. I love smelling the flavor developing from the cheese. All cheese starts of with pretty flavorless curd. In aging the magic of cheese chemistry takes place and flavors come to life. I have to wait at least another 3 months before tasting. Torture!

 

Romano Cheese

Recipe Type: Cheese and Dairy
Serves: 1 pound
Ingredients
  • 2 quarts skim milk
  • 2 quarts whole milk
  • 5 oz. thermophilic starter culture
  • 1/4 teaspoon lipase powder, dissolved in 1/4 cup cool water 30 minutes*
  • 1/4 teaspoon calcium chloride, dissolved in 1/4 cup cool water
  • 1/4 teaspoon rennet, dissolved in 1/4 cup cool water
  • 1/2 gallon water
  • 1 pounds cheese salt
  • 1/2 tablespoon calcium chloride
  • 1/2 teaspoon vinegar
Instructions
  1. Begin by heating the milk to 90F.
  2. Once the milk is at 90F, the culture can be added. Allow the milk to ripen at 90F for 60 min.
  3. At 40 minutes add the re-hydrated lipase Stir this in well.
  4. When the time is up add diluted calcium chloride and mix for 30 seconds.
  5. Then add diluted rennet and stir gently with an up-and-down motion for 1 minute.
  6. The milk now needs to sit quiet for 30 minutes until you get a clean break.
  7. Cut the curd into 1/4-inch cubes. You need nice small curd cubes.
  8. Heat the curds to 116 degrees over the course of 45 minutes, raising the temperature by 2 degrees every 5 minutes. Watch the temperature constantly.
  9. Maintain the curds at 116 degrees for 30 minutes or until curd retains its shape when squeezed. Drain off the whey.
  10. Line a 1-pound cheese mold with butter muslin or cheesecloth. Place the curds in the mold.
  11. Press at 5 pounds for 15 minutes.
  12. Remove the cheese from the mold and gently peel away the cheesecloth. Turn over the cheese, re-dress it, and press at 10 pounds for 30 minutes.
  13. Repeat the process but press at 20 pounds for 2 hours.
  14. Repeat the process again but press at 40 pounds for 12 hours.
  15. Remove the cheese from the mold. Peel away the cheesecloth.
  16. Make a brine using 1 pound of cheese salt stired until disolved. Mix in calcium chloride and vinegar.
  17. Soak the cheese in the brine for 6 hours in the refrigerator, flipping it every 90 minutes. Remove the cheese from the brine and pat dry.
  18. Age the cheese at 55 degrees and 85 percent humidity. Turn it over frequently and check for mold. If there is any, you can remove it with a cloth dampened in vinegar or salt water.
  19. After 2 months, lightly rub the cheese with olive oil to keep the rind from drying out. Age for another 3 to 10 months.
Notes
If using lipase with cow’s milk, a lower fat milk should be used. I find a blend of 1/2 skim plus 1/2 whole milk should give a starting fat content of about 2.2%. If not using lipase, a full fat milk may be used.

 

If you want to learn more about cheese making check out my past posts on