CHEESE MAKING BLOG

RECIPE: HOMEMADE JALAPENOS MOZZA STICKS

19 August, 2015

HOMEMADE JALAPENO MOZZARELLA STICKS

INGREDIENTS

  • 1 LB OF HOMEMADE MOZZARELLA - INFUSED WITH CHOPPED JALAPENOS (CHECK OUT THE VIDEO AND RECIPE HERE
  • 2 EGGS - BEATEN  
  • 1/4 CUP OF WATER
  • 1.5 CUPS OF ORGANIC BREAD CRUMBS OR PANKO
  • 1/2 TSP OF SALT OR GARLIC SALT 
  • 1/2 TSP OF CHILLI FLAKES 
  • 1/2 CUP OF FLOUR 
  • 1/3 CUP OF CORNSTARCH
  • 1 QUART OF OIL (can be vegetable, canola or olive oil)
  • OPTIONAL: LIQUID SMOKE (1 TSP) 
  • OPTIONAL: HOT SAUCE FOR DIPPING 

From my experience, add seasoning; it gives it an added wow factor.

EQUIPMENT:

  • LARGE BOWL
  • 3 SERVING BOWL
  • MEASURING SPOONS AND CUPS 
  • LARGE SKILLET, DEEP FRYING PAN 
  • TONGS 
  • PAPER TOWEL 
  • 1 PLATE 
  • SERVING PLATE

DIRECTIONS

PREPARATION STEPS

This recipe calls for home-made mozzarella made from scratch however if you don't have time you can buy mozzarella from the store. After you make or buy mozzarella, you can use it right away by making this recipe or store it in the freezer until you are ready to make these sticks. If you are adding chopped jalapeños, they are added during the mozzarella making phase, as you stretch and form your balls, drop a few pieces of jalapeños at a time into the folds of the cheese to knead them into the cheese as you go. If you are using fresh mozzarella with no added jalapeños or mozzarella that you bought from a store, be sure to add more spice in BOWL 3. 

PREPARE 3 BOWLS:

BOWL 1: Combine the flour and cornstarch

BOWL 2: Beat the eggs and add water (and optional liquid smoke) 

BOWL 3: Combine the bread crumbs and salt and chilli flakes

  • In a large heavy saucepan, heat the oil to 365 degrees F (185 degrees C).
  • After making homemade mozzarella, cut it into strips.
  • Dip one cheese strip at a time into: Bowl 1, then Bowl 2 and then lastly Bowl 3. (It’s a good idea to keep a 4th bowl of water on the side to clean off your fingers as you go, it gets messy)
  • After all three coatings take place, gently drop your cheese stick into the saucepan of hot oil.
  • Keep it frying until it turns golden brown. This should only take about 30-45 seconds. The darker pieces (in the image below) are the pieces I kept in for 1 minute
  • Remove it with tongs from the hot oil and let it drain on a plate covered with paper towel.

1. Fresh homemade mozzarella 2. Cut into strips 3. Dip into bowl 1: flour mix 4. Dip into bowl 2: egg mix 5. Dip into bread crumbs (this is panko) 6. Drop gently into hot oil (careful it is hot!) 

(this image above doesn't have the chopped jalapeños added..this was my first batch. Trust me you'll want to add them to give this recipe addictive qualities)

HOW TO MAKE TZATZIKI - IN 3 EASY STEPS

06 August, 2015

 HOW TO MAKE TZATZIKI

Makes: 2 cups (1 pint)

INGREDIENTS:

  • 1/3 SECTION OF CUCUMBER
  • 3 GARLIC CLOVES – minced
  • 2 TABLESPOOONS of EXTRA VIRGIN OLIVE OIL
  • ½ TEASPOON of SALT
  • 1 TABLESPOON of FRESH DILL
  • OPTIONAL: BLACK OLIVES - for decoration

EQUIPMENT:

  • LARGE BOWL
  • SERVING BOWL
  • MEASURING SPOONS AND CUPS 

DIRECTIONS:

 
Preparation Steps:

This recipe uses homemade yogurt from our recipe however you can use store-bought plain Greek yogurt. To find out how to make homemade Greek yogurt click here for the recipe.

This is a really creative way to add probiotics to your diet.

 

STEP 1: 
 Grate the cucumber and drain the water that is released.

STEP 2: Mix together the yogurt, minced garlic, oil, vinegar and salt in the large bowl.

STEP 3: Combine the cucumber and the yogurt-mix together and serve right away or for best flavor chill in the fridge in a covered container overnight.

To add visual appeal, drizzle olive oil on top and sprinkle a few olives on top.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

How to Stay Safe & Sanitize for Success: 6 Things you should know about Sanitizers Before you Make Homemade Cheese

20 January, 2015

 

I use a lot of different products to help me in all aspects of my cheesemaking. Out of all of them, a good sanitizer is one of the most important products to use effectively. If your equipment and surfaces aren’t clean, great cheese isn’t possible. But what is clean? Check it out! 

RULE OF THUMB

Sanitation is as important as any other step in the cheese making process.

GETTING THE MOST OUT OF YOUR INGREDIENTS

Proper sanitation is not only about your health when consuming cheese, it is also about giving the enzymes and bacteria (your rennet and starter cultures) a chance to flourish in the milk.

For example, rennet is a very sensitive and finicky enzyme. It can easily be rendered inactive or useless if it finds itself fighting off the wrong mineral. The same can be said about bacterial cultures, when you add them to the milk they may be forced to compete with other unwanted bacteria in your milk and the end outcome will be an off-flavour.

WHAT TO DO…

 

STEP 1: CLEAN EVERYTHING IN SOAP AND WATER

Get out your dish-soap and scrub and remove any debris or caked on material on your equipment. 

STEP 2: SANITIZE EVERYTHING

You can sanitize your equipment by either 1) Boiling it in hot water or 2) Using an acid-based sanitizer.

  • BOILING YOUR EQUPMENT: Put all your cheese making equipment into a stockpot filled with water and boil for at least 10 minutes. For this reason, plastic equipment for cheese making is not recommended for cheese making. So try and use stainless steel measuring spoons, ladles and knives. Cheesecloth is also safe to boil.

 You can boil your equipment the night before making cheese or on the day of.

  • ACID-BASED SANITIZERS: This is an alternative to boiling your equipment. Most acid-based sanitizers will kill possible contaminants within 1-2 minutes.

These sanitizers should be properly diluted in water. Let equipment dry off, no rinsing!

Soft plastics aren’t recommended for soaking in acid-based sanitizers. The sanitizer bottles should be stored in a safe area away from the reach of children. Please read the instruction on the label for best use.

 Sanitizing should all be done the evening before making cheese.

My favorite sanitizer is Star San. It is an acid-based, no-rinse sanitizer that is effective and easy to use. StarSan works in just 1-2 minutes. We offer it on our website or you can find it on amazon here (affiliate link). 

So far this is pretty straightforward. Nothing complicated.But before we move, I thought we should address some common misconceptions when it comes to sanitizing… 

6 THINGS YOU SHOULD KNOW ABOUT SANITIZERS BEFORE YOU MAKE HOMEMADE CHEESE

 

#1: Cleaners ARE NOT sanitizers

Whether you are using an acid or alkaline cleaner, it should not be used as the final procedure.

Remember clean isn’t the same as sanitized. Something can be clean in appearance but still be unsanitary…meaning bacteria that will negatively effect your cheese may be still on the surface.

#2: You can ONLY sanitize clean equipment

If your equipment has debris or calcified curd attached to it, even the best sanitizer won’t be effective.

That’s why we started with cleaning the equipment in soap and water.

In other words, dirty equipment will always contain bacteria even if sanitizer applied.

#3: Sanitizers ARE NOT cleaners

A sanitizer isn't a replacement for a cleaning solution. 

Sanitizing should be the final step after cleaning.

I am overstating the obvious for a reason. This may seem like common sense but when you get busy, you don’t want to skip over these basic steps.

#4: More is NOT Better: Adding more sanitizer will not improve how it performs

Do not overuse sanitizers like Star San sanitizer. If you overdose the sanitizer, it may leave an unwanted residue or just cake on to the equipment. Your cheese may show small flecks the aging period, have a pasty texture or have off-flavours.

If you do want to improve the way the sanitizer performs, you can increase the contact time the equipment stays in the sanitizer.

#5: Cleaners and sanitizers must come in contact with 100% of the surfaces

This means that all blind areas, such as pot handles or racking wires, must be hand cleaned and sanitized, use of spray balls can be very effective.

#6: Never add water to chemicals

Always blend cleaning or sanitizing chemicals into water. Not the reverse.

  • THE WRONG WAY

If you add water to strong acids, an extremely concentrated solution of acid is formed right away and a large amount of heat is released. So much heat is released that the solution may boil very violently or it may splash acid out of the container! 

  • THE RIGHT WAY

If you add acid to water, the solution that forms is diluted and the amount of heat that is released is not enough to vaporize, spew or splash.

ALWAYS ADD ACID TO WATER, NOT THE REVERSE

EXTRA PREPARATION STEPS INCLUDE...

  • Sanitizing your cheese making area on the evening before making cheese
  • Avoid having fruits or other foods on the counter nearby
  • Avoid making bread or other foods that involve yeasts at least 36-hours prior
  • Avoid wind currents in that area such as open windows or nearby air vents

TO FINISH UP…

As you can see, there are a few sanitizing basic principles to learn if you are a beginner cheese maker or to refresh your memory for experienced cheese makers.

If you have have tips and tricks for cleaning and sanitizing your equipment, we would love to hear from you below.

Cheers, and I look forward to your thoughts and comments!

 

One Hour Cheese - A super beginner's guide to cheese making

28 May, 2014

Make Cheese Inc is proud to call Claudia at Urban Cheesecraft a friend. Claudia is a genius when it comes to making recipes simple and approachable to beginners.  ONE HOUR CHEESE hits a homerun when it comes to photographs, simple step-by-step instructions and creative cheese recipe ideas.

Not only does the book make cheesemaking doable and fun but also the recipes are designed to be done with your schedule in mind. If you are in the mood for bigger cheese projects like an aged parmesan down the road, then let this book be your introductory step and the rest will follow when you’ve built up your confidence...

 

OVERNIGHT YOGURT OATMEAL

10 February, 2014

SOW YOUR OATS OVERNIGHT

...and add yogurt to the mix!

Now that you are making yogurt on a regular, breakfast is the first place to start injecting this healthy item into you day.

This is a no-cook recipe, the oats and chia seeds simply absorb your homemade yogurt overnight, making for a delicious breakfast meal - with no fuss for you in the morning...read more here

UPBIQUITOUS RANCH DRESSING

10 February, 2014

YOGURT RANCH DRESSING

Ranch dressing is everywhere. You can't escape it! Don't try, it's delicious. But store-bought bottles of the stuff contain some peculiar ingredients and end up a far cry from the homemade probiotic version. I know we are turning a few of you into Yogurt Masters so throw a wee bit of the yogurt you are now in the habit of making weekly towards this recipe and have tangy treat to turn to for snack time...read more here

Question Bag: Expired Cultures

10 February, 2014

We want you to get started making cheese, not just any cheese but awesome cheese. 

With that being the goal, from time to time we do end up with expired products on our hands, they are rarely sent from our supplier with a full year on the product. All cultures are still packaged for commercial cheese makers who use these products very quickly thereby negating the expiry times. We are still juggling these factors for smaller home cheese makers.

So you, the home cheese maker, will likely be faced with questions over what to do with leftover expired culture at some point.

Here's our philosophy on expiration dates...read more here

Is it time to get healthy? Yogurt might be the answer.

19 January, 2014

YOGURT: A RECIPE FOR HEALTH

 

Admit it: you’re feeling bloated these days right? It’s the new year, and we all over indulged over the past month.  It was wonderful wasn’t it? You can't be a cheese lover and not like to indulge a bit.

But now you are looking for fresh and healthy recipes to start the year off fresh. Well this month’s recipes will help you get you and your gut back and balanced for 2014. 

Have you ever made your own yogurt? Getting into the habit of making this tasty treat will be worth your while this year. It’s dead easy and so good for you...

Do you have a cheesey loved one?

06 December, 2013

Need a last minute gift for a cheesy loved one?

Let them decide what kind of cheese to make you with our handy gift cards for easy holiday gift giving. 

Here are gift cards for $20, $40 and $60 CAD.

How to Make Homemade Buttermilk Eggnog Pancakes

06 December, 2013

BUTTERMILK EGGNOG PANCAKES

And now that you've made your awesome Buttermilk Eggnog if there's any left, you can make these fluffy beauties!...