Quilts and Cheese! A strange combination, but it is what it is.
Inspired by Jenny Doan's Half-square triangle quilt.
That's the quilt part of this post. Here is the cheese part.
I've been making paneer, a simple Indian cheese for decades. Mindlessly easy to make. Milk with lemon juice as a coagulant. The other day I found One-Hour Cheese: Ricotta, Mozzarella, Chèvre, Paneer--Even Burrata. Fresh and Simple Cheeses You Can Make in an Hour or Less! at the library and checked it out. Holey Moley! What a book. Incredible photographs describing every step of making simple cheeses at home. Not the kind that need to ripen, just the stuff you make and eat within an hour.
So yesterday I tried a ricotta. It looks crumbly, but isn't, even after being refrigerated for 18 hours. It is creamy, spreads well, and is so delicious, I don't have the words to describe it. The best soft cheese going.
I used lemon juice as my coagulant, but the process is different from making paneer, and I think that changes how the cheese comes out.
In paneer, you bring your milk to a boil. Shut off the heat, and add in lemon juice. You can substitute vinegar or lime juice, or even yogurt (which gives a lot of milk solids). Strain it and let the whey drain off. And there you have it: a lovely crumbly cheese which you can then press to make nice firm shapes.
In the ricotta, you add the lemon juice to the milk before cooking it, and then you have a slow cook until it hits 190 degrees. The curds form much slower than in paneer. Drain, etc, etc. It's an awesome cheese.
I used 2 % milk. Didn't want all the butterfat of whole milk, but wanted a certain creaminess that skim milk doesn't give. A total of 6 cups of milk produced about 2 oz of cheese.
I can see me experimenting with this cheese. How about putting in a cheesecloth bag of rosemary, simmering it along in the cooking process, then removing it, this giving the cheese that gorgeous rosemary flavor. Mmmm. Yummy.
So that's it: a quilt and a cheese. Not half bad.