Tuesday, March 19, 2013

Homemade Mozzarella with Nigella Seeds

Blog's Category: DK Challenges

Homemade Mozzarella with Nigella Seeds



Intro
It's again the time to show up what everyone made for this month's Daring Kitchen  challenge. It was such an awesome subject for challenge - homemade cheese. Although I'm not a newcomer to homemade cheese (ricotta type), I'm am a complete "stranger" to higher level cheese making which would involve such a special ingredient like rennet. So, deciding to step up and make mozzarella, I ordered my rennet tables from lovely Amazon and lay my choice on braided Armenian style mozzarella cheese with a nigella seeds. To cut my excitement down - I didn't get my cheese stretchy enough to make it braded but I ended up with a plain, but still delicious, mozzarella with nigella seeds.
From my own culinary history: I discovered nigella seeds, which sometimes called black cumin seeds, many years ago when I tasted my first braded armenian cheese and, right away, fell in love with this tiny but mighty, flavor-wise, seeds. Since then I was experimenting adding seeds to various recipes and come to conclusion that nothing makes nigella seeds flavor to shine as simply putting it in a dairy - yogurt, cheese or just on top of any food with a melted cheese. There must be some special "agreement" between nigella seeds and cheese about making each other better, more flavorful and more delicious.
Homemade Mozzarella with Nigella Seeds

  • 1/4 tablet of rennet (bought on amazon, do not buy Junket)
  • 1 gallon whole milk, pasterized (not ultra-pasterized)
  • 1.5 tsp citric acid
  • 1.5 tsp salt
  • cold, drinking quality, water
  • thermometer
 
- Dissolve 1/4 tablet of rennet in a 1/2 cup of cold water and set aside.

- In a separate dish, dissolve 1.5 tsp citric acid in 1 cup of water, set aside.

- In a large stainless steel or enamel pot, pour milk, add dissolved citric acid. Place pot on a medium heat and start to stir. Keep stirring. When temperature reaches 90F (it will happen quickly), remove pot from a heat and add rennet solution, slowly stirring into a milk. Let it rest for 5-10 minutes. Now milk will look like one large curd.

-  Keeping thermometer in a pot, place pot back on a medium-low heat and start carefully stir curds to break them into smaller curds. When temperature reaches 105F, remove from heat. Continue to stir carefully for 2 more minutes. Keep in mind that stirring and breaking curds into smaller ones, makes your future mozzarella firmer. So, adjust your stirring according to your taste.

- Drain cheese curds into colander covered with your cheese cloth (dedicate 50"x50" piece of clean, thin cotton fabric especially for cheese making). Leave it alone for about 15 minutes.

- Meanwhile, in a large pot, bring some 1 gallon of water to a boil. Remove from heat. Keeping your cheese curds in a cheese cloth, dip it into a pot with a hot water for 10-20 seconds. Then drop cheese curds onto clean wooden cutting board.

- Knead your cheese, how you would knead a dough, for about 5 minutes. Then transfer it back into a cheese cloth and dip it into a pot with a hot water again. Let it soften there for another 20 seconds and repeat kneading.

- Repeat dipping/kneading for a couple more times until your cheese become stretchy, smooth and shiny. Re-heat your pot with water during the process if needed. Water should be very hot to melt cheese curds.

- Some time during kneading process add a little bit of salt and nigella seeds. Knead to distribute them evenly.

- When your cheese reaches consistency you like, dip it in a cold water, pat dry a little bit with a paper towel. Store it in a glass container in a fridge. Enjoy!

*********************************************************************************************************************************
IN PICTURES
 
(My apology - I've lost all my pictures from making this mozzarella with an exception of a few. I know that I'll be making mozzarella again and will be taking pictures again to post them here)
this is how my rennet tablets look - I got them from Amazon
 
rennet is easily dissolved in a water
 
Important Notes
- watch temperature of your milk carefully - it will raise very quickly. Do not allow curds/milk go over 110F or you'll end up with a tough cheese.
 

Blog-checking lines: Sawsan from chef in disguise was our March 2013 Daring Cooks hostess! Sawsan challenges us to make our own homemade cheeses! She gave us a variety of choices to make, all of them easily accomplished and delicious!

1 comment:

  1. This is great - I have always wanted to try making mozzarella.

    ReplyDelete

I would love to hear from you!