Saturday, February 27, 2010
Wednesday, February 24, 2010
Monday, February 22, 2010
Thursday, February 18, 2010
Tuesday, February 16, 2010
It is easy to make Halloumi and ricotta at home, no special equipment required except for a cheese or brewer termomether.
I started with 2l of milk, full-cream and not homogenized (unfortunately not raw...)
In a large stainless steel saucepan heat the milk to 32C (use the termometer) and then add the rennet (animal or vegetable). I used 2ml dissolved in 2ml of cold water, but if you use industrial rennet you may need less. Follow the manufacturers' instructions. Let the milk set for 45-60 minutes, covering the pot with a lid and keeping the temperature constant on 32C (you may like to place the pot into a bigger pot with hot water, or wrap it with a warm towel).
When the milk is set cut into 1 to 2 cm squares. If the pot is deep also cut across with a slotted spoon.
Wait 5 minutes, then take to 35-38C and stir gently with your hand for 30 minutes, keeping the temperature constant.
At this stage the squares will look smooth and lightly elastic. Wait 5 more minutes, then lift the cheese up with a slotted spoon and place into a basket or colander lined with cheese cloth or gauze. I used a steamer, which has holes in the bottom and sides. Cover with more cloth and place a weight on top (I used a pot filled with 2l of water). Let it rest for 30 minutes.
In the meantime make the ricotta, which is a byproduct of Halloumi.
Heat the leftover whey to 90C, then add 1 tsp of salt and 1 tbsp of white vinegar. Gently stir and cook for 5 minutes. The foam forming on the top is the ricotta.
Lift the ricotta up with a slotted spoon and place in a small colander lined with gauze. With my leftover whey I could just make enough ricotta for a Barbie doll, but it is fun to make. Refrigerate the ricotta for one night.
Now cut the Halloumi cheese into pieces and cook in the leftover whey (after lifting the ricotta up) at 85-90C for about 20/30 minutes, stirring from time to time. The cheese will rise to the surface.
Take the cheese slices out, add a pinch of salt on each side, and a little dried mint (optional) then fold each slice into two.
Make a brine with 50% leftover whey, 50% boiling water and 10% salt (i.e. 100g of salt for every litre of liquid). Keep the Halloumi in this brine for up to two weeks, in the fridge.
To cook: Halloumi can be cooked under the grill, in a frying pan or on the barbeque. No oil is needed. Lightly rinse from the brine and cook until lightly golden.
Here with bruschetta and rucola (rocket salad).
Monday, February 15, 2010
Friday, February 12, 2010
8 slices of pumpkin, about 2 cm thick
1 sheet of nori seaweed
1 cup of tempura mix
3/4 cup iced water
oil for frying (I used rice bran oil)
salt to taste
Remove the skin and seed from the pumpkin slices. Cut the nori into eight strips and roll each strip around the middle of each pumpkin slice, like a belt. In a bowl mix the tempura mix with the water using a fork. Do not over mix the batter, but leave it a bit lumpy. Heat the oil in a capable frying pan, the oil will be ready when a drop of batter poured into it start sizzling and raise to the surface. Start coating the pumpkin slices with batter on both sides and place them in the hot oil. Fry the slices for approximately 3 minutes, turning once. The batter should look golden and crispy. Place on kitchen paper to remove excess oil and sprinkle with a little salt.
Thursday, February 11, 2010
My rhubarb is huge, and ready to eat now! I cooked some for a pie and made some extra juice to make this agar agar.
1 l water
200 g sugar
a few drops of lemon
600 g rhubarb stalks, cleaned and cut into pieces
2 tsp agar agar
Boil the water, sugar and lemon juice. Add the rhubarb and cook until it starts to froth. Drain and use the rhubarb to make pies (or eat by itself). Collect the juice and bring back to boil. Add the agar agar and simmer for 3 minutes.
Pour into a square or rectangular container. Cool. Cut in to squares and store in the fridge. Very refreshing and with a delicate but distinctive taste.