We recently purchased a Mad Millie’s home cheese making kit and finally got around to making some Marinated Feta. The kit comes complete with the following items:-
- a ceramic cheese pot with ceramic pressing plate and lid
- cheese mould
- plastic colander
- a piece of cheesecloth,
- vegetarian rennet tablets
- citric acid
- cheese salt
- recipe card.
So you have everything you need to get started. The contents are packed inside a French artisan themed box which makes this kit an attractive gift. But this one is for me and I love it. Everything is kept nice and neat inside the box so I don’t have to go hunting for things the next time I want to make cheese. We decided to start with the Marinated Feta recipe.
And remember you don’t have to have a kit, you can use items you have in the home, but the kit makes it soooooo much easier, especially if you are just starting out.
So lets go through the steps that we took to make the cheese – the recipe can be found at the bottom of the post.
The first thing to do is heat the milk to 95°F (35°C). Make sure you stir the milk while it is heating.
After sprinkling the citric acid over the top of the milk we added the diluted rennet. To dissolve the rennet tablet we crumbled it into 1 Tbsp of non-chlorinated water
After stirring in the rennet we had to wait for 30 mins to allow the curd to form. Once the curd was formed I cut it with a long knife.
There is a fair bit of hurry up and wait when making cheese so it has to rest undisturbed for 5 mins once you cut it into cubes. Then you stir it gently for 1 min and leave it to sit again for another 5 mins.
During the resting time I lined the colander with the cheese cloth and then carefully poured the curd into the colander.
Once all the curd was poured into the colander its time to pull up the corners of the cheesecloth in preparation for hanging from the tap. This allows the excess liquid to drain nicely from the curd.
Once the liquid has drained for around 30 mins or more, place the cheesecloth with the curd into the plastic cheese mold and place it in the ceramic cheese pot.
Open up the cheese cloth and place the pressing plate directly on top of the curd. Bring up the ends of the cheesecloth and place on top of pressing plate.
Now its time to apply some pressure to squeeze out the last drops of liquid and to do this we add 8lbs (3.5kgs) of weight. I couldn’t find anything on hand so resorted to filling up two Tupperware containers to equal that weight. And they worked just fine.
After the cheese has been pressed for a couple of hours – until it is firm – remove the the chess mold from the cheese pot and rinse out the pot. Now it’s time to add the salt brine to the cheese pot.
Remove the cheese from the mold and the cheesecloth and cut it into 1/2 in (2.5 cm) cubes. Put the cubes back into the mold (without the cheesecloth) and place the mold into the salt brine that is in the cheese pot.
Leave the cheese for 30 minutes until it becomes noticeably firmer and salty in taste. Remove the cheese from the brine and pat it dry with a wet towel. I forgot to do this important step and couldn’t make out why the cheese was a bit wet and crumbly. So do remember to do this before adding the cheese to the jar. You can see in the picture that my cubes aren’t as nicely cubed as they should be as they are a bit damp.
Sprinkle all of the herbs over top of the cheese and then cover it in oil and seal.
Leave for a week before sampling. Well the is what the recipe says but we kept some aside to have with crackers and it was really tasty and delicious just as it was. a However, I am looking forward to the end of the week when we can open the jar and sample the oil and herb soaked cheese.
It really isn’t complicated if you just follow the steps in the recipe. And I think its well worth it. You know exactly what has gone into your cheese and that’s a plus in my book. Bon Appetit.