Homemade Rosemary Farmer’s Cheese with Garlic and Cracked Pepper

Finished CheeseHomemade Cheese. The smell when it is cooking is divine(smells a bit like cheese fondue). It makes me think I am in the Italian countryside preparing a fresh meal. In other words, you definitely  need to try making this homemade cheese: easy to make and wonderful on the tongue with its savory aromas and harmony of tastes.  I love the smell of rosemary and it goes beautifully with a little garlic and some freshly ground pepper for a little spice. Since I was trying to find a way to use some leftover buttermilk this recipe worked out perfectly!Rosemary

I used low-fat milk because I wanted to make it healthier, but whole milk is even better. It will result in a more rich cheese because let’s face it: fattier cheese is tastier.(At least that’s my opinion). None the less, even using low-fat milk, the cheese  is delicious! Let’s talk details. After a little research, I have learned that using an enamel(like my awesome Le Creuset one-they’re on sale right now!) or a heavy stainless steel pot will produce the best results because aluminum and acidic milk do not create a pleasant chemical reaction. Also, buttermilk is best at room temperature because it gets those good cheese-making bacteria going. I found this technical information off a wonderfully informant site: click here.Buttermilk pouring

I will be honest and say this is the first time I have made cheese so I am not really sure about time estimates because I didn’t have my pot hot enough at first(It definitely needs to be hot). But I can guarantee that the cooking time is under 20 mins. Most recipes say ten, so as I said before I had a little bit of rough start so my estimate is probably off. That said, once you have the cheese in the colander, please take caution. The cheese and whey(the yellowish liquid) are very hot and can BURN you!(trust me, I learned the hard way…)fresh cheese Cheese before mixingThat is why I suggest just letting the cheese take its time to drain and rinsing it with a little cool water(and squeezing it out of course). And that leftover whey(liquid), no need to put it to waste; check out these ways to use it. I wanted to try my cheese a little firmer so I drained it longer, but if you want softer, more spreadable cheese go for it!Homemade Rosemary Cheese

Homemade Rosemary Farmer’s Cheese with Garlic and Cracked Pepper (adapted from Martha Stewart’s Recipe) (yields about 1 cup of cheese)

Ingredients:

1/2 gal. milk(preferably whole)

3 c. low-fat buttermilk, room temperature

5 tsp. salt

4-5 sprigs fresh rosemary

2-3 cloves garlic

1/2 tsp. dried rosemary, minced

fresh pepper to taste

olive oil for drizzling

Directions:

1. Put fresh rosemary and garlic in a tea or spice bag and close tightly. Line colander with cheese cloth or thin cotton dish towel

2. Combine milk, buttermilk, salt, and spice bag in a large pot(preferably enamel or heavy stainless steel) and let heat to high heat

3. After at least 10 minutes on high heat curds will form

4. Once curds have formed pour into cheese cloth/colander and let whey(yellow liquid) drain

5. Mix in dried rosemary and pepper

6.Then rinse with cool water and squeeze out remaining liquid. Cover cheese with dish towel and put a weight on top to help liquid drain

7. Put cheese in refrigerator for at least 10 minutes to harden. Then serve drizzled with olive oil. Enjoy!

*Store cheese in refrigerator since it is fresh cheese.

 

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