Cheese Admiration and Celebration

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Replies

  • Nicoles0305
    Nicoles0305 Posts: 310 Member
    edited February 25
    AnnPT77 wrote: »
    @acpgee, based on this and other recipes you've posted in other threads, I really need to find some pomegranate molasses (not stocked at my usual haunts, but I can cast a wider net). That queso ahumado with jam/molasses sounds worth trying at home!

    @Nicoles0305, just lemon juice and hot milk? I think I could handle that, and I do like ricotta. Will put it on my list of things to try!


    This is the recipe I use. It’s so easy! Just make sure whatever milk you use, it’s not the ultra pasteurized stuff. The level of heat they use for that process affects the outcome of cheese, so regular pasteurized or even fresh, raw milk is the standard among home cheese makers. If you don’t have good quality cheesecloth, some quilter’s muslin, a flour sack kitchen towel, or something similar will work too. Just be sure to wash it before using it for your ricotta. The recipe lists lemon juice, vinegar, or citric acid as your acid options. I’ve tried lemon juice and citric acid, and prefer the subtle lemon flavor you get from using lemon juice.

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  • sgt1372
    sgt1372 Posts: 3,969 Member
    edited February 25
    I enjoy eating cheese and buy it now and then but not regularly. The only cheese that I stock/keep on hand are parm and pecorino that I use for pasta and risotto.

    My favorite cheese is brie or other creamy cheese variants. My favorite brand of this type is La Tur, which I discovered long ago, which has a bit more flavor than plain brie. Another creamy cheese that like is a stinky variation called Taleggio.

    I've eaten and enjoyed Humbolt Fog goat cheese before but it's a bit too crumbly (as are most goat cheeses) for me. When a receipe calls for feta, I usually use goat cheese instead because I can make better us of it than I can feta. The dark ash line in Humbolt Fog reminds me of the similar ash line in Morbier made w/cow's milk. Between the 2, I prefer Morbier.

    I also eat/buy "fresh" (not packaged) burrata or mozarella when I can find it but I will buy/eat mozarella sticks in bulk for snacks when the price is right.

    I'm not very fond of semi/hard cheeses generally (except for parm & percorino that I grate b4 use) but I will buy Cheddar, Monterey/Pepper Jack, Havarti, Fontina, Racelette/Roblochon, Manchego & Gouda from time to time. Usually basedon my mood, their availability (for the less common cheeses) and their price.

    I've also eaten/made my own ricotta before. Don't make it often unless I need a lot and I'll save $ making instead of buying it. If it's just a small amount that I need for a recipe, I'll just buy it.
  • Nicoles0305
    Nicoles0305 Posts: 310 Member
    @sgt1372 I’ve got a chunk of Morbier in my fridge now. LOVE the stuff!
  • acpgee
    acpgee Posts: 6,613 Member
    @Nicoles0305
    Is there anything you can do with the whey, such as using as buttermilk to marinate chicken before shaking with bread crumbs?
  • acpgee
    acpgee Posts: 6,613 Member
    In the Canarias I was planning on buying some pan de higos as an accompaniment to the cheese board but we didn't have to go back to the shop that had it before leaving for the airport. Happily discovered it is very easy to make at home. I skipped the honey as the dried figs on their own are sweet enough for my taste. Next time I will incorporate the almonds into the sticky fig/brandy mixture in the food processor. I used a little extra brandy and skipped the water.
    https://allwaysdelicious.com/dress-up-your-cheese-plate-with-pan-de-higo-fig-cake/
  • AnnPT77
    AnnPT77 Posts: 24,773 Member
    acpgee wrote: »
    @Nicoles0305
    Is there anything you can do with the whey, such as using as buttermilk to marinate chicken before shaking with bread crumbs?

    I'm not Nicole, but noticed that on another thread @springlering62 mentioned using the whey from skyr instead of milk or water in baked goods, for improved results (texture, maybe?).

    I'm tagging her, hoping she might have something to say here about that. (I hope that's OK, Spring.)
  • acpgee
    acpgee Posts: 6,613 Member
    A small pan de hilgo I made this morning to take to a dinner party tonight with a few pieces of cheese from the Canaries. Taking what's left of the majero and some of the hard goat's cheese that's already open.
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  • springlering62
    springlering62 Posts: 5,126 Member
    edited February 26
    acpgee wrote: »
    @Nicoles0305
    Is there anything you can do with the whey, such as using as buttermilk to marinate chicken before shaking with bread crumbs?

    I make skyr, which is a rich yogurt like product made with skim milk. It amazes me something so thick and gorgeous comes out of skim milk. So my whey is skim, too.

    That stuff is liquid gold.

    Substitute whey for milk or water in pancakes and bread recipes.

    For pancakes, have your pan preheated because the batter will be very fluffy but will deflate fairly quickly, so you want the pan ready to go before you blend.

    I use it in bread in lieu of water, and it’s great. Makes the bread lighter, the crust chewier and gives it a bit of a sourdough flavor.

    Haven’t tried it in cakes because I just don’t bake them anymore. Too tempting. 😢

    Supposed to be good in smoothies, and some people like to just drink the stuff.

    My gallon (plus starter and water/rennet) made 1870 gr of sky, which is exactly 11 servings.

    I also get 8 cups whey from the gallon.

    I’ve also read that you can use whey instead of water or broth in soups and stews. But I’ve usually used it up baking.

    My next experiment will be using whey in homemade ice cream. I’ve been using sky as my base, with water and instant sugar free pudding, which gives it a lovely soft serve texture. I’m going to sub out whey instead of water next time. Curious to see how it will react with the pudding mix, which is very high sodium in dry form. (It’s the salt whey reacts with in baked goods.)

    I got both yogurt strainers offered on Amazon. I LOVE the round one. Easy to clean. But only holds a half gallon.

    The oval one strains a gallon but is a PITA to clean, although I added half a cup vinegar to the soap water while it soaked overnight and it washed up a lot easier than the first two times.

    Your cheese looks fabulous. I want to have a go at cottage and mozarella cheese.

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    Fixing to make some cherry scones with low cal skyr instead of sour cream. 1 gallon skim yields 10 servings skyr + 8c whey + 1c heldover skyr to start next batch. Skyr is $6 a container here.
  • claireychn074
    claireychn074 Posts: 794 Member
    Oh yes Morbier - that is one delicious cheese 🤤
  • AnnPT77
    AnnPT77 Posts: 24,773 Member
    @acpgee - doing some internet searching, it seems that "queso ahumado" just means "smoked cheese" (?). I'm more than willing to improvise, but out of curiosity: In the Canary Islands, can you say anything more about the style (flavor profile?) of the smoked cheese they use in the tapas with a jam/molasses topper, that you had? I'm thinking is it more nutty like maybe a smoked swiss, or a little milder like a smoked provolone, sharp-ish, or . . . ?

    I'm more than happy to experiment, and bet that many options would be tasty, but I'm curious about the home-grounds preferences that you observed there. Thanks in advance!

    I enjoy your food posts here so much: They're so cross-cultural and creative!
  • acpgee
    acpgee Posts: 6,613 Member
    The queso ahumada was salty and reminded me of smoked gouda. Do not have experience with other smoked cheese types. We brought some of it home but haven’t opened it yet and will report back what it is like uncooked when we do. In the pack it feels like a young hard cheese, similar to a gouda aged 3 months or so.
  • acpgee
    acpgee Posts: 6,613 Member
    @AnnPT77
    I think this is the typical cheese for the broiled queso ahumado. So apparently it is a goat cheese.
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Palmero_cheese
    And this seems to be the one we brought home.
    https://www.fondazioneslowfood.com/en/ark-of-taste-slow-food/queso-de-canizo/
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  • Nicoles0305
    Nicoles0305 Posts: 310 Member
    acpgee wrote: »
    @Nicoles0305
    Is there anything you can do with the whey, such as using as buttermilk to marinate chicken before shaking with bread crumbs?

    There are lots of uses for the whey! I have only tried whey ricotta and whey caramel so far. I know you can use it in soups, baked goods, etc. I haven’t explored it very far yet though.
  • rwarren1969
    rwarren1969 Posts: 20 Member
    Squeak squeak, my inner mouse was thrilled to find this thread 🐭 I am fond of sampling different cheeses, as long as they aren't the smelly or blue kind. Aged cheddar makes the best mac & cheese. cheese is great just to nibble on too, with crackers. I miss the cheese festival that usually happens in February -- the Excuse for Everything is not conducive to open sampling.

    But when you live by yourself, making a cheese board is an expensive undertaking. Solution: ONe of the grocery stores downtown has a little basket of remnants from making cheese platters. So you can get a morsel of Brie or Oka or whatever for around $2. A few of these, plus a handful of crackers and another handful of fruit, make a dandy cheese board for one.
  • acpgee
    acpgee Posts: 6,613 Member
    @AnnPT77

    I opened up the queso ahumado today. When opening the vacuum package, there was a strong waft of smoke. However, eaten cold the cheese tasted less smokey and less salty than I remember it broiled from the tapas bars in Las Palmas. Flavour was quite mild, and a little acidic.

    We've got friends coming over for tapas on the weekend to help eat our stash of cheese and charcuterie. I will try broiling the queso ahumado with a little bit of date molasses. I actually think any salty cheese that melts well (ie cheddar) would work for this tapas dish that combines melted cheese with a dash of something sweet.
  • springlering62
    springlering62 Posts: 5,126 Member
    edited March 1
    Halloumi.

    One of best meals I ever had was in a Lebanese restaurant in London. I ordered a halloumi salad having no idea what halloumi was, and it came with a huge plank of grilled halloumi on top of a green salad. It was so amazing, we went back two more times for the same dish and it wasn’t til the third trip that the waitress told me it was cheese. I thought it was some kind of fowl.

    Best mac and cheese ever was made from a wheel of Edam I got at Albert Heijn and brought back home in my luggage. It wasn’t even expensive stuff. Just Dutch. ‘Nuff said.
  • AnnPT77
    AnnPT77 Posts: 24,773 Member
    Halloumi.

    One of best meals I ever had was in a Lebanese restaurant in London. I ordered a halloumi salad having no idea what halloumi was, and it came with a huge plank of grilled halloumi on top of a green salad. It was so amazing, we went back two more times for the same dish and it wasn’t til the third trip that the waitress told me it was cheese. I thought it was some kind of fowl.

    Best mac and cheese ever was made from a wheel of Edam I got at Albert Heijn and brought back home in my luggage. It wasn’t even expensive stuff. Just Dutch. ‘Nuff said.

    Yes to Halloumi, or other (I think closely-related) other grillable cheese! (Can also brown and crisp them up in a cast-iron pan on the stove top, no added oil needed).

    One thing I used to eat was a good parmesan, grated fine, sprinkled thinly in the cast iron skillet and heated to crispy. (The "Whisps" snack thingie, and other brands of same, are similar but not as good as fresh-crisped.) Can also be done a a plate in the microwave. A small amount of cheese makes a pretty disk to top (say) as soup, though it will soften once applied, or it can be broken in pieces and used as a salad topper.

    What cheese to use in mac'n'cheese is a personal taste thing, I think, as well as whether it's a cheese sauce or done some other way. My mom used to make it by layering mac with grated cheese, pouring milk (not full depth) over all, then oven-baking . . . of course, growing up I though that was "the way", but I do usually make more of a sauce-type, these days. I like various cheeses in mine on different iterations, smoky or gooey or more light (ricotta and blends), nutty or sharp, etc. Many can be good!
  • AnnPT77
    AnnPT77 Posts: 24,773 Member
    acpgee wrote: »
    @AnnPT77

    I opened up the queso ahumado today. When opening the vacuum package, there was a strong waft of smoke. However, eaten cold the cheese tasted less smokey and less salty than I remember it broiled from the tapas bars in Las Palmas. Flavour was quite mild, and a little acidic.

    We've got friends coming over for tapas on the weekend to help eat our stash of cheese and charcuterie. I will try broiling the queso ahumado with a little bit of date molasses. I actually think any salty cheese that melts well (ie cheddar) would work for this tapas dish that combines melted cheese with a dash of something sweet.

    I appreciate your following up so clearly on my question, @acpgee! I'm definitely going to try this. Going grocery shopping today, one decent cheese source on my route, but I may need to cross town to the one mentioned in my OP, the one with the crazy-wide selection.
  • MaggieGirl135
    MaggieGirl135 Posts: 648 Member
    @springlering62 My husband and I try different cheeses in mac and cheese and in shrimp and grits; we will definitely try Edam. Thank you for mentioning Edam. Our current favorite is half extra sharp cheddar and half smoked Gouda.
  • AnnPT77
    AnnPT77 Posts: 24,773 Member
    Today, back to the good cheese department in the biiiigg produce market on the other side of town. This (photo below) was happening there today:

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    I'm not a big cheddar person, so I didn't buy to try (they had some cuts in the frig case), but it was fun to see.

    @acpgee , the closest they had to what I think you're describing was a smoked gouda, so I got that; and found some pomegranate molasses earlier this week, so that's on the menu as soon as I have the calorie wiggle room for a good portion.