June 4, 2010

A Little Italian and a Little Mexican . . .

walked into a bar. . . Wait that isn't where I was going with that. Where I was going is to tell you about Microwave Mozzarella and Homemade Horchata. (Yes, I made my own mozzarella a few months back.) Both were not quite what I expected. The mozzarella didn't look like the photos I had seen but it tasted fine on pizza and the horchata was more watery than what I was expecting. I have never had homemade horchata so maybe I was expecting too much. While both were not quite what I was expecting, I will try my hand at making both again. I have an idea or two for both. Even if they turned out exactly the same I would not be disappointed.

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Microwave Mozzarella
from girlchef
Print Recipe

1 gallon whole or low-fat milk
2 tsp citric acid powder
1/4 tsp liquid rennet
1/4 cup cool water (55-60 degrees F)

Pour the milk into a large, heavy-bottomed pot and add the citric acid, stirring for 2 minutes. Bring the milk to 105 degrees F. (It doesn't matter whether you stir). Check the temperature with a thermometer. Remove the pot from heat. In a small cup, dissolve the rennet in the water. Add this mixture to the milk and stir for 30 seconds. Cover the pot and let stand for 15 minutes. Using a wide, shallow ladle, scoop the curds carefully into a microwave-safe bowl and pour off and press out the excess liquid. Microwave on high for 1 minute. Pour off excess liquid, being careful because it will be very hot. Turn curd and microwave on high for 30 seconds longer. Remove cheese from microwave. Drain off excess whey. Repeat process, draining and pressing off excess whey until no whey is left. Using a wooden spoon (or your hands...super careful, it's hot), stir and stretch the cheese for about 10 minutes or until it's stringy and shiny. If the mozzarella cools too much, it will become hard to stretch. If this happens, reheat the cheese for 30 second intervals until it becomes pliable again. Shape your mozzarella how you wish...a big ball or little balls (bocconcini-esque). The mozzarella can be served right away or refrigerated, covered in water, for up to three days. Change the water after a day or two.

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Homemade Horchata
from Appetite for China
Print Recipe

1 cup uncooked rice, rinsed
2 qt hot water (just under boiling temp)
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1 tsp vanilla extract
1/2 tsp ground cinnamon

In a blender, pulverize the rice grains to get the mixture as smooth as possible. In a big bowl, stir together the water, rice, and sugar until the sugar is fully dissolved. Stir in vanilla and cinnamon and let sit in the fridge overnight. The next day, strain through cheese cloth. Serve immediately or store in the fridge for up to 3 days.

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