Greetings, nerdlings! Welcome to the third round of “Gamer Grub”
…The quasi-weekly segment here on 1up where I will take some of our favorite
snacks, treats, and guilty pleasures and show you how to make them as healthily and cheaply as possible!
Today we have a special treat…one of my all-time favorite “sittin on the laptop doin nothing” snacks is cheese and crackers. Today, I’m going to teach you how to make your very own cheese using only things you most likely have sitting in your kitchen right now, so that you
Can Haz Chz Plz!
(You’ll have to excuse the lack of appealing “Finished cheese” photos…I was so excited to start eating it that I completely forgot to grab my camera. maybe I’ll add some before the weekend if I don’t eat it all first 🙂 )
To make your very own chz, all you need is:
1 non-reactive pot (I used stainless, but glass or enamel would work as well)
1 package cheesecloth (this is actually the first time I’ve used it for cheese haha)
1 colander (probably not entirely necessary, but I wouldn’t recommend trying this without one!
1 kitchen thermometer
1 gallon milk (you can use any kind of milk you want, just make sure it isn’t ultra-pasteurized. It will say on the jug if it is…I was going to use goat milk, but for the $20 price tag, I could have bought some fancy professionally made cheese…so plain old whole milk for me!)
2-4 t salt
1/2 cup white vinegar
any extra seasonings you may want to add
The first thing you need to do is dump your milk into your pot, sprinkle on the salt, and slowly heat it up to 190 degrees farenheit. I personally was paranoid about burning my milk, so the whole thing took about an hour to heat up.
While that heats up, go ahead and add your extra ingredients (if any)…first I added some food coloring because I am a dork and like orange cheese. See the color difference? Nothing too drastic, just something to keep me entertained while it comes to temperature. maybe next time I’ll make it bright purple…just because i can 🙂
I also added random spices I had on hand, like dried onion, parsley flakes and fresh ground pepper. I like the onion, because it re-hydrates and creates an interesting texture, but I think I will add some minced garlic and a little more salt next time instead of the parsley and pepper.
Be sure to keep an eye on that thermometer!
If you get bored watching the almost imperceptable creep of the needle, feel free to go watch an episode of Buffy on Netflix while you wait…just be sure to check back frequently to make sure that your milk absolutely does not come to a boil…I don’t care how entertaining Evil Willow is…no excuses!
Once your milk hits that magic 190 mark (or 189 if you are like me and don’t want to wait 5 minutes for that last degree…the thermometer was probably off anyway, right?), remove it from the heat and add in your vinegar, mixing well. You will instantly notice your milk starting to curdle (ew), but let it sit for about a half hour anyway, just to be sure…go finish your buffy episode…go ahead…I’ll wait.
Oh, you’re finished? Ok then, we’ll just wrap this up…literally!
go ahead and line your collander with a section of cheesecloth (you can use the rest for next year’s mummy costume), and set it in a big old bowl…
now pour your gunk on in
now gather up the edges of the cheesecloth and make a little bundle…yes, i know it looks gross but it tastes amazing! squeeze your chz and get out as much of the liquid, or “whey” as you can…be sure not to throw any of it a-whey (hahahahahahaha) though! it is supposedly nutritious, and great to cook with!
now, tie up your little chzbundle, and hang it somewhere over your bowl for about 20 minutes to let the rest of the whey drip out…hey, maybe there is a new XKCD up that you can check out while you wait!
once that is done, pour your whey into containers (i ended up with three quarts!), put the cheese in a covered dish, and be sure to keep it all in the fridge! I’m going to expirament this weekend with some whey recipes I found online, so stay tuned for a Gamer Grub: Supplemental to come next week!
sorry no geektrition graphic… I had no idea how to calculate it, since you end up straining off all that whey…i would imagine it is about the same as the gallon of milk you buy!