All over the world, whenever we want to have pizzas, thick & juicy burgers, sandwiches, and much more stuff, there is one ingredient whose absence would make a huge difference and may leave them incomplete and tasteless. That particular ingredient is none other than Cheese, which has the tendency to be used in almost any traditional and fast foods.
We know that cheese can be acquired from any grocery shop or a supermarket but are we getting the right cheese that we want. There are currently more than 1,800 kinds of cheese that are being made all over the world. But the best part is that you can also make choose and add your own kind of cheese to the catalog. Therefore, I am going to share the basics that you need to know from Ido Fishman Chef so you can start making your own cheese:
Make Sure You Have Warm and Fresh Milk
The first and the basic ingredient needed to make cheese is milk so you need to make sure that the milk you are using is warm and fresh. Remember, the taste of your dish depends on how fresh the milk you are using is so always keep that in mind when doing so. The people who make cheese use udders at the dairy farms to warm the milk or what you can do is pour the milk into a large pot and then put it on a stovetop to warm it gently.
Adding Acid to the Milk
Although there are many types of cheese as well as many ways to make it, the first step in every cheese-making process if to first acidify the fresh and warm milk. In order to correctly acidify milk, you need to either add citric acid or vinegar in order to do the magic. When you do this, you are one step closer to making cheese that would resemble mascarpone and ricotta.
On the other hand, you can also add living bacteria or cultures to the milk in order to acidify the milk and make it fermented.
Add Some Coagulant
The next step is adding an enzyme that is used for combining proteins and stick them together. Most of the time, you can go for one of the most used coagulants (enzymes) that are known as rennet. Rennet can be collected from different sources such as the animal stomach, then there are rennets that come from plants, and come from fungus. Once acquired, the coagulant can be added to milk and mixed until it makes a gel-like form. You can check the firmness of the gel by pressing onto the milk and check how thick it has become.
Time to Cut the Curd
After the above steps are followed and achieved successfully, you can start cutting the curd into chunks or small cubes. This can be easily achieved by using a whisk, knife, or cheese harp. Remember, the amount of moisture that your final product “Cheese” would retain depends upon the size of the cuts that you make on the curds. So try to make the pieces as small as possible because doing so would make the cheese drier and will eventually extend the life of the cheese.
Cook, Wash and Stir the Curd
After cutting the curds, the next step is to stir them into the vats, and the process can take an hour or several minutes to complete. Ensure that you keep stirring while you cook and heat the curds in the vat and keep at it for several minutes or an hour. This process helps the acid develop and grow stronger in the curds, and stirring is the main player in this process.
While stirring, you can also remove the whey from the mixture and keep replacing it with more water. This helps the cheese become even more elastic, sweeter, and milder.
Drain the Curds Then Salt and Age the Cheese
As per Ido Fishman, after the long process, now the time has come to separate both whey and curds from each other. You can do this by dumping the contents from the vat into a utensil with holes in it or you can also go for the colander. After putting it into the colander, you can wait for the curds to settle let it make it to the shape of a wheel if you like.
Once the process of separating curds from whey is completed, you can start adding salt to the curds. You can also put the curds into a carrier of any shape you like and then add salts to it. Then the next step is to let the cheese age and Viola! You now have cheese ready.