Monday, October 11, 2010

Homemade Mozzarella ala Kika

A few months ago my mom, Kika, Kala'i and I attended a mozzarella making class sponsored by Slow Food Hawai'i. It was wonderful. There were around eight participants (we were half of them) and we each had to bring our own pot, thermometer, measuring cup and one gallon of LOCAL milk (as in homogenized but not ULTRA homogenized). We went with the Mountain Apple brand supplied by KTA. My understanding is that it is the only LOCAL milk available here on our island. Yay Mountain Apple brand! Well, to make a long story short, everyone's mozzarella turned out. Except for mine. So sad. SO SO SAD. So of course I didn't blog about it.
I did the next best thing. I went to the New England Cheese Making website and purchased 12 kits. Now I didn't intend to buy 12 kits. I just wanted one. But once I got to the website and found the 30 minute mozzarella and ricotta making kit, I also saw that if I purchased 12 kits I could get them at 1/2 price. I'm not Chinese for nothing! I sent out a few emails and before I knew it I had enough friends who were interested in buying kits so that I wouldn't get stuck with 12 kits. One kit can make 30 "things" of mozzarella/ricotta (whatever that means...we just used our first part using 1 gallon of milk) and the kit will last a year.
I don't need to bother you with a recipe. If you are truly interested you just need to go and buy a kit. Or come and visit me and we can make some cheese at my house (please wait until our flooring is done. This can take up to 5 years. Haha! Joke).  But I will leave you with some pictures.
 Here's the kit! Isn't it cute? I first read about Ricki in Barbara Kingsolver's book, Animal, Vegetable, Miracle (a great book, btw)

 Since my first mozzarella experience was a FAIL, Kika volunteered to make our first home batch

 First thing added is the citric acid. You can see how it causes the milk to curdle. I hear you can just use a vitamin C pill.

 At some point you also need to add the vegetable rennet. Apparently rennet is found in the first stomach of the cow. I haven't confirmed this with the cow. But a vet told me so. I might have gotten the stomach number mixed up though. We also added kosher salt too. Salt comes in the kit but I just used our regular salt that we use for cooking. I think it's kosher. Either that or sea salt. I don't buy anything else anymore.

 Funny thing - we didn't know which thermometer to use. The first temperature we had to achieve was 90 degrees but this candy thermometer doesn't even start till around 100 degrees. I had two meat thermometers that start at around 140 degrees. I even resorted to using our mouth thermometer. Of course once we were all done and I was putting away everything I noticed the thermometer that came with the kit. HAHAHA!

 You can clearly see the whey separating from the curds. This is a GOOD thing. I also learned that whey is the liquid that you'll see in your yogurt. I used to think my yogurt was going bad. But now I know better. Yay.

 You have to microwave the curds at this point. And you should have some gloves, like the kind you buy to wash dishes. This stuff was HOT!

 Draining off more whey

 We didn't have gloves. So we dunked our hands in the ice bath water waiting. It was still VERY VERY HOT!

 S-T-R-E-T-C-H  the mozzarella

 Form it into a ball and put it in the ice bath to cool it off

Here is the finished product - 3 very nice mozzarella balls. We ate one that night. Just like that. Still a bit warm. We had to draw the line for Kaipo. She kept coming back for me.
I used the rest of it last night for an eggplant parmagiano. Yummy.

Seriously. Call me if you want to make some mozzarella. I can't guarantee success (and at over $5 a gallon it could be costly) but it'll be a fun time!

1 comment:

  1. Can't wait until I see you tomorrow to finally get my kit! Yay!

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