Curd Nerd


I have been so terribly lazy and engrossed in my real life that I have hardly found the time this week for my virtual friends. I’m sorry. My real-life friends have just been so much fun recently. Today I received a small packet of Citric Acid on my desk. (Not something you want to snort, so I guess they are not that much fun.) Citric Acid is used in cheese making. I have decided to try my hand at home made curd and cheese. Why? You ask. Because it sounds yummy. And, why not?

Cheese has a really bad wrap among heath conscious people, but I think it is  largely a misplaced angst over the fat content. Real cheese has a lot of good things in it for you. What you should really be afraid of is food coloring, additives and other chemicals. There is a reason that name Kraft sounds a lot like the word ‘crap’.

Cheese is a great source of protein and calcium. Since protein curbs hunger and keeps you feeling satisfied after meals and snacks, cheese can help you to lose weight. As part of a well-rounded nutrition plan, the protein in cheese can slow down the absorption of carbohydrates eaten at the same meal or snack and therefore help balance your blood-sugar levels and improve mood as well.

The calcium in cheese can help keep your teeth and bones strong and guard against osteoporosis. In women, it can also offer some relief from PMS symptoms. Cheese contains additional nutrients like zinc and biotin. Zinc has several functions in the body: It aids in tissue growth and repair, prevents and treats macular degeneration, protects your skin, and helps keep your nails strong. Both zinc and biotin are also important for hair health. – http://www.joybauer.com

My real life friend also sent me this link, which is chalk full of good information on cheese making. http://curd-nerd.com/ I’m going to start with the easy one’s Mozzarella, Mascarpone, and fresh curd (which is not a cheese, it’s a yogurt.) Just think of all the wonderful things you can do with good curds. You know those ‘romance’ movies where a man an a woman start by feeding each other strawberries?

Mascarpone

mascarpone-con-le-fragole200801021

  • 1 litre of cream
    (Or 500ml of cream and 500ml of full cream)
  • 1/4 tsp of tartaric acid
    (Or 15ml of lemon juice)
  1. Warm cream to 85 degrees Celsius/185 degrees Fahrenheit.
  2. Add tartaric acid or lemon juice and stir in thoroughly for 5-8 minutes.
    The cream will start to thicken immediately, towards the consistency of custard. If this doesn’t happen, add a tiny drop more of tartaric acid but be careful not to add too much or you will end up with a grainy texture.
  3. Leave to rest and cool to room temperature.
  4. Ladle into a cheese cloth lined colander.
  5. Drain for 8 hours, or overnight.
  6. Remove from the colander and place in an airtight container.

Use immediately or within 2 weeks when stored in the refrigerator.

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