Friday, October 1, 2010

October's Cheesy Challenge - Greek Island Mizithra

Greek Island Mizithra
adapted from 200 Easy Homemade Cheese Recipes

3 quarts whole milk
1 tbsp pickling (canning) or kosher salt
½ tsp liquid rennet

Sterilize all equipment.
In a large stainless steel pot, heat milk gently to 90°F, stirring gently to prevent scorching.
Remove from heat and stir in salt

Dilute rennet in ¼ cup cool water. Add to milk and, using an up-and-down motion, draw rennet down into milk until well blended. Cover and set aside at room temperature for 30 minutes to an hour, or until a firm curd has formed.

Using a whisk, gently break up curd, stirring until curd pieces are approximately ½ inch in size. Let stand for 2-3 minutes. Using skimmer, stir gently for 5 minutes.

Gently pour curd into a cloth-lined colander and let drain for 1 hour. Scrape cheese into center of cloth. Gather the four corners of the cloth together and tie to create a bag. Hang the bag and let drain over a bowl or the sink for another 5 hours at room temperature. Place a colander in a bowl; place bag in the colander and let drain in the refirgerator for another 12 hours. Twist the cloth tighter from time to time to aid draining.

Remove cheese from cloth and place in a bowl. Store in the refrigerator for up to 2 weeks.

There you have it! October's cheesy challenge. Here is a link to the book if you wish, you can use the recipe we provided or one of your choosing. There are many variations of Mizithra.

Link up to the October linky when you have some great cheese to share!

Want to suggest recipes for Forging Fromage? Just let us know! 
email us at forgingfromage at live dot com

How are your colby and cheddar doing? Mine are still hanging out, suffering benign neglect in my beer fridge. The colby should be ready soon!


Heather S-G said...

Yay, one I've never even heard of! Looking forward to diving in =)

a moderate life said...

I am so here for the challenge! Yasou Takanis! I am greek and I LOVE this stuff (though, it is similar to ricotta ;)) Very cool. Will be trying to make this in a week or so when I return from my anniversary trip! :) Alex

NKP said...

Alex - it is amazing how similar the process is in many of the cheeses. Especially the fresh ones.
Have a great trip!

Couscous & Consciousness said...

OMG - I am so excited to see this. I had a month in the Greek Islands back in June this year, and fell in love with Mizithra - eating it every day - in watermelon and black olive salads, in Greek salads (instead of feta), in eggplant and green olive salads, on toast with bitter orange preserves. You name it, I got addicted to it, so I am definitely going to make this, as it is something we can't buy here. Yes it's similar to ricotta, but just not quite the same. I am SOOOOOOOOOO excited :-)

TMC said...

This is so exciting! I've never found it to purchase (except maybe at the Old Spaghetti Factory??) but now I can just make it! Yum!

Rebecca said...

Cool! Like girlichef said, another cheese I've never tried! And thank you C & C for the tips on how to use it. Looking forward to making and eating it.

As for the question at the end of the post, I need to restart my cheddar (I had a mold problem, which I wrote about back in the comments of the original post) and I never got to my colby. Wondering I can get both of them going this week. Hmmm.

Couscous & Consciousness said...

I've never come across canning/pickling salt here, nor do we have kosher salt. Could I use Maldon flaky sea salt do you think - doesn't have any additives in it?

NKP said...

I am sure that will be fine, basically you want a coarse salt that has not been iodized.

Couscous & Consciousness said...

Yay - my mizithra is made - so excited I am just about beside myself!! Post follows shortly, but in the meantime I'm about to now try making another batch of ricotta out of the whey.
I am now, completely & utterly hooked on this cheese-making caper. Which one to try next?
Sue :-)

NKP said...

Sue - yay! Glad you are as excited as we are about the cheese!
What supplies do you have? (rennet, starter cultures?)
Can't wait to see your mizithra post!

Alessandra said...

Great! I lov making cheese at home, I'll follow you :-)