“Homemade Smoked Provolone Cheese”

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What is Provolone Cheese?

Pronounced: proh-voh-LOH-nee

If you can imagine mozzarella with a fuller flavor, then you have imagined Provolone. It is a semi-hard Italian cheese, aged for a minimum of six months, and originated in Casilli near Vesuvius  where it is still produced in various shapes as in 10 to 15 cm long pear, sausage, or cone shapes. A variant of Provolone is also produced in Japan and North America.

Smoked cheese makes a wonderful addition to sandwiches. Now, you can create this great taste with the step-by-step instructions for the best homemade smoked provolone cheese.

Ingredients:

  • 4 gallons of raw goats milk
  • 1 teaspoon of type K or KL lipase powder dissolved into 1/3 cup of cool, non-chlorine water
  • 4 teaspoons of citric acid powder dissolved in 3/4 cup of cool, non-chlorine water. Allow this to sit for 5 minutes or more.
  • 1 teaspoon of rennet mixed in 1/4 cup of cool, non-chlorine water

Instructions making the provolone cheese

  • Warm 2 gallons of the milk to 86 degrees F
  • Mix in the dissolved lipase powder.
  • Keeping temperature at 86 degrees F, let milk set for 1 hour to incubate.
  • Add the dissolved citric acid to the remaining 2 gallons of cold goats milk.Then, add the cold milk to the 2 gallons of warm milk and bring the temperature to 86 degrees F.
  • Add the dissolved rennet to the combined 4 gallons of milk.
  • Allow to sit for 15 minutes or more. Whey will cover the top of the curds.
  • Now you are ready to cut the curds into 1/2 inch cubes.
  • Allow curds to settle to the bottom of the pot, and then slowly raise the temperature to 115 degrees during a 30 minute time frame while stirring.
  • And now, using a large dipper or stainless pot with a handle, remove the whey from the curds that have settled to the bottom of the pot. Leave enough whey to cover the matted curds.
  • Prepare ice water in a pan long enough for the desired length of your provolone cheese log.
  • Meanwhile, heat the whey that is covering the provolone log that you have begun shaping. Use a cloth that you drained the curds into to turn the log of provolone in the heated whey. Remove the heated whey and the provolone cheese log from the heat. Continue to lift the cloth to aid in shaping the log of cheese.
  • When cheese becomes smooth and firm enough to handle, place the cheese into the ice water. Avoid handling the cheese log as much as possible.
  • Do not rush the cooling process! If you have a wooden mold 3″x3″ and 10″ long, place the cheese log into the mold. After the cheese log chills, remove and rub with iodine free salt and cover with plastic wrap. Place in refrigerator at 45 degrees and redress every two days for 8 or 10 days. If you are going to smoke the provolone cheese, do not uncover the cheese log.
  • After 10 days, wipe the cheese with cool water and pat dry.

Smoking the provolone cheese

  • Cold smoke your provolone cheese for approximately 4 hours. You can use small hickory chips, fresh from the woods or small sassafras twigs from sassafras trees.
  • Cold smoking cheese and meat is simple and inexpensive.
  • All you need is a clean metal bottomless garbage can and a soldering iron. Take an average size can of vegetables and partially cut the lid, leaving enough of the lid attached to close the can after filling it with wood chips. Be sure to remove the outside paper from the can, then wash and dry it.
  • Use tin snips to cut a round slot in part of the lid to allow you to put the soldering iron into the can filled with wood chips. Fill the can with small hickory chips or small sassafras twigs and place soldering iron into the can. Place garbage can on gravel and place the can with chips and soldering iron just under the metal bottomless garbage can. If you have a smoker, it will also work just fine.
  • And now, this is what makes it a cold smoker. Take a large box that will cover the top of your smoker and cut a hole in the bottom of the box, about a 6 inch diameter circle. Place the box on top of the smoker making sure that the box will receive all of the smoke. Place a rack a few inches above the bottom of the box and place this rack as far away from the 6 inch diameter hole as possible. This to allow the cheese to absorb the smoke and remain cool.
  • After about 15 minutes, unplug the soldering iron. Check the cheese, and if the cheese is dripping, then remove the cheese, place in a plastic bag and refrigerate.
  • Repeat the process until the cheese starts making a rind. The color of the cheese will have a slight yellow cast. Do not let the rind become too dried out and hard. Wax the cheese after it is smoked, so that other cheeses that are being aged do not become smoked. Age 6-8 months or more from date of being waxed.

Enjoy! The best Smoked Provolone Cheese.

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“Simple Tips to Make Kefir Cheese”

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Kefir cheese is a fresh, sweet curd cheese, similar to paneer or cottage cheese . This cottage cheese is quick and easy to prepare, and is a rennet-free cheese.

Ingredients:

  • 1 gal.  Fresh goat milk
  • 2 cups Kefir –preferably an extra sour kefir brewed for 2 days or 2-day refrigerated kefir, although freshly strained kefir will do
  • ½ tsp.  sea salt to taste

Directions:

  • Heat milk to about 140°F.
  • While gently stirring the milk, slowly pour kefir into the milk as a slow steady stream. Do not stir too fast or too vigorously or for too long or the curds will break apart and become un retrievable. The curds should begin separating from the whey– the whey should be reasonably clear and not milky. If the whey is still milky, either increase the heat, or add a little extra kefir (while very gently stirring for a short time only) until the whey becomes reasonably clear. Let sit for 2 minutes.
  • Remove curds by skimming with a strainer.
  • Place curds in either a pre-moistened cheesecloth lined colander, or in a suitable mesh-type strainer. * Optional – (Add a little sea salt in the fresh curd).
  • Let curds drain for about 15 minutes. And that’s it!

* Optional – (A little sea salt to taste may be added to the fresh cheese. You can add sea salt to the fresh milk prior adding kefir, or, add a little sea salt in the fresh curd).

This recipe makes a nutritious, low-fat cheese.

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“How To Make Double Baked Goat Cheese Souffles?”

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Twice baked souffles were fashionable a while back and recently, a revival as ‘retro food’.

A twice-baked recipe for souffles is ideal as you can make it in advance and then re-bake just before serving, making serving the souffles much easier if you are serving your guest.

Ingredients:

  • 8 fl oz goat milk
  • 3½ oz semi-hard goat cheese, grated
  • 2 eggs, separated
  • ½ onion
  • 12 black peppercorns
  • 1oz butter, plus extra for greasing
  • 1oz plain flour, plus extra for dusting
  • 1 tbsp fresh thyme leaves
  • salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • watercress to serve

Directions:

    • Preheat the oven to 365 ° F.
    • Place the milk, onion and peppercorns into a pan over a medium heat and bring to scalding point but, do not boil. Strain the milk into a bowl and discard the onion and peppercorns.
    • Meanwhile, melt the butter in a clean pan over a medium heat. Add the flour and stir well for one minute to create a paste.
    • Gradually add the heated milk, a little at a time, waiting for the flour to bubble before adding more milk and stirring between additions. Keep adding to create a smooth sauce.
    • Remove the pan from the heat, then add the egg yolks and thyme and whisk to combine.
    • Add 2½ oz of the goat cheese, season with salt and freshly ground black pepper and stir well.
    • Whisk the egg whites until stiff peaks form when the whisk is removed.
    • Add a small spoonful of the egg whites to the cheese sauce and mix well.
    • Gradually add generous spoonfuls of the egg whites to the cheese sauce, gently folding the whites into the sauce, until the whites are completely combined with the sauce.
    • Butter and flour for 5 oz. ramekins and divide the cheese mixture among them.
    • If cooking to serve immediately, sprinkle the souffles with the remaining goat cheese; if planning to store and reheat, reserve the cheese for later.
    • Transfer the souffles to an ovenproof dish and add enough water to the dish to come a third of the way up the ramekins.
    • Carefully place into the oven to bake for 15-18 minutes, or until risen.
    • The souffles can be cooled and stored in the fridge, or even frozen, to be cooked later. If reheating, defrost or remove from the fridge, top with the remaining cheese and place into an oven preheated to 365 ° F and bake for 8-10 minutes.
    • To serve, place the souffles onto plates and place a handful of watercress alongside.

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“How to make Goat Cheese Roulade?”

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This recipe is for 6 individual serving.

Rolling a roulade is the only tricky bit, but well worth it for a slice of goat cheese perfection.

Ingredients for roulade:

  • 2½ oz butter
  • 3¼ oz plain flour
  • 16fl oz goat milk, warmed
  • 7 free-range eggs, separated
  • salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 oz parmesan, grated
  • handful fresh basil, shredded

Ingredients for filling:

  • 1 lb 2oz ricotta
  • 6 oz goat cheese, crumbled
  • 5½ oz sun-blush tomatoes
  • handful baby spinach

Ingredients for salsa:

  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 red onion, finely chopped
  • 2 zucchini, finely chopped
  • 1 eggplant, finely chopped
  • 1 garlic clove, chopped
  • 1 tbsp tomato purée
  • 6 fresh tomatoes
  • 3fl oz red wine vinegar
  • salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • watercress, to serve

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 350° F .
  2. Line a 18in x 12in Swiss roll tin with greased non-stick baking paper.
  3. For the roulade, melt the butter in a saucepan. Add the flour and stir over the heat for 3-4 minutes.
  4. Slowly whisk in the warm milk until smooth, then season with salt and freshly ground black pepper. Stir in the egg yolks until well combined.
  5. Meanwhile beat the egg whites until stiff peaks form when the whisk is removed, then into the egg yolk mixture.
  6. Spread the mixture onto the Swiss roll tin and sprinkle the parmesan on top. Place in the oven and bake for 20-25 minutes, or until a skewer inserted into the middle comes out clean. Set aside to cool slightly before removing from the tin.
  7. For the filling, spread the ricotta onto the base, leaving a 1 inch gap around the edges. Arrange the goat cheese, sun-blush tomatoes and spinach over the ricotta mixture.
  8. Roll up the roulade firmly, from the longest end, using the greaseproof paper as a guide. Wrap the roulade in aluminium foil and chill in the fridge for at least an hour.
  9. Slice the roulade into six pieces and bake in the oven for 10 minutes. Meanwhile preheat the grill to high.
  10. For the salsa, heat the oil in a frying pan and fry the finely diced onion, zucchini, eggplant and garlic for 2-3 minutes. Add the tomato pureé and cook for a further 10 minutes.
  11. Blend the fresh tomatoes in a food processor until smooth and add this to the rest of the vegetable mixture along with the vinegar.
  12. Place the roulade slices under a hot grill until crisp on top. Serve alongside the salsa and some watercress.
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Fried Chevre Recipe

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This recipe is simple. You can use either homemade chevre or buy from the grocery store. If you are using homemade chevre, it will be best if you let it drain until it is fairly dry and crumbly, like chevre purchased from the store. That way, it will stick together better when you form the patties.

Directions:

Mold small scoops of chevre cheese into patties. I prefer a size that is about 1 1/2″ in diameter, but you can use smaller or larger as preferred. Dip each patty in a well-beaten egg, and then roll in bread crumbs.

You can generally use Italian bread crumbs, because of the seasoning, but you can use plain, or add your own seasonings. *Optional – You could also add a little parmesan cheese to the bread crumbs for more flavor.

Fry in hot vegetable oil for a few seconds until the bread crumb coating has browned. Remove from the oil, and drain on a paper towel.

Transfer to a serving platter, and garnish, if desired.

It does not get any easier than that!

This warm goat cheese makes a fantastic appetizer. And when you bite a piece of fried cheese, a crispy bread crumb coating gives way to creamy, warm goat cheese that fills your mouth with a delightful flavor.

And, once you have tried the plain fried Goat Cheese, your imagination will start soaring! Experiment with your own combinations to find your favorite taste or add your favorite flavor combination to create an entirely new taste sensation.

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