Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Cheese Gone Wild

I've noticed that the majority of blog posts show you how to do something.  Projects are a wonderful success and seem easy and straightforward.  So, when my son was home on spring break, we decided to make some fresh mozzarella and I was going to take pictures of us making this batch for my post last Saturday.  Things did not go as planned...but that's okay!  This post is to remind you that "failures" are really successes in disguise.

You learned in Saturday's post that taking the leftover whey from your mozzarella batch can be heated to 200 degrees F and then you can make ricotta.  Also, the post stressed using non-chlorinated water.  Well, in our haste to make some mozzarella for picture taking purposes, we (a) used tap water and (b) we tried to hurry the mozzarella process along and accidentally boiled our initial milk/citric acid/rennet/water mix.  No mozzarella for us!  Failure...no!  I wasn't going to waste a gallon of milk!

Our pot was filled with tiny curds and the whey never turned clear.  We scooped  out as much of the curds as we could and tried to make mozzarella drying out the curds in the microwave so that we could stretch it.  We didn't get mozzarella.  Instead, well got amazing dry ricotta that would work well on a pizza!

We poured about a quart and a half of the whey into jars and put it in the refrigerator.  We decided to leave the remaining whey in the pot overnight and see what we would have in the morning. Look...lots of curds!

We we got a strainer/scoop and scooped out the curds!

We took these curds and placed them in a paper towel lined colander (sitting in a large bowl to catch the whey).  We let this drain until the cheese obtained the "dryness" we were looking for.

 Our failed mozzarella resulted in 10.5 ounces of dry ricotta for pizza (on the left) and 16.5 ounces of a wetter ricotta for lasagna (on the right).  I also had a little over a half gallon of whey for baking.

So when making dairy products, keep an open mind!  Oops do not have to be disappointments....they may be a new twist on how to do something!


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