Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Crackers and Cheese

I did it.

I've been trying to find time all last week to try out two recipes I found online for crackers and cheese.

Homemade cheese.

Homemade crackers.

Both were easy...and delicious.... and cost at least 1/2 of what they cost from the store....came with zero packaging and I can pronounce every single one of the ingredients.


Who knew that cheese could be this easy?

If you'd like to try your hand at it, then I check out the recipe here, but basically there are only a few short, simple steps to making your own Farmer's Cheese.

Boil  4 cups of milk to 190 degrees.

Take milk off the heat and add 1/4 cup lemon juice (or vinegar in a pinch)

Let it sit for at least ten minutes. Until it get's all curdled like this:

Then strain it through a cheese cloth to let all the whey out (which makes really great pancakes the next day "by the whey"... get it?)

Then cover it and refrigerate it.

Cheese... just like that.

And because I can control how much whey is coming out of it (which is the liquid and lactose in cheese) I can make this cheese almost lactose free and safe for my little boy to eat.
As the cheese cools and sits in the fridge it also gains a better consistency more like cream cheese and the flavor comes out over time, although it is very subtle. The more you strain the curd, the dyer it is, more like ricotta,  so I imagine this would be lovely cheese to make more for lasagna than for crackers, because it needs just a little something to amp up the flavor for crackers. I'd suggest a little salt or hot sauce or even some herbs such as garlic or dill... that'd be delicious with this.

Then there's the cracker recipe my friend Breanne shared with me.  You can find it and follow it here

Also, super simple.

I  made the dough with a few simple ingredients and rolled it out very thin like so:

I cut the dough into little squares, poked cute little holes in each square and baked them on parchment paper at 400 degrees Fahrenheit.

They are lightly sweet and lightly salty and taste like actual crackers.

 I think over time I will  also tweak this recipe until I come up with the perfect cracker, but in the meantime I just feel like saying "hurray for me"

Hurray for crackers and cheese!

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