So often in today's world of convience we forget about how our food history was shaped: by the men and women who walked miles to have the best cream to make the richest cheese, woke at dawn to feed the hogs, and move the cattle on to the freshest pasture to graze, tend to the corn, plow the hard dry soil for new seeds to be planted, and cut the wool from the sheep to make clothing and blankets. These practices are not so far removed from our present day when I think about what life may have been like for those settlers in the 1600's even into the early 1900's before cooking was a commodity. So I have really taken to heart the new found pride I have found in cooking "Old World" food. Really what I am doing is applying new age technology to these original ideas. So here is my latest...
Homemade Cottage Cheese. First things first -- in today's world cottage cheese is produced using skim milk which is processed in a plant. What I use is whole "raw" milk form a local farmer. She has three Jersey cows which is a breed of cow from the Isle of Jersey, Britain. They are a smaller breed and produce a high butter fat content milk, great for cheese, creams and butter.
Step 1. Find raw milk. If unavailable you may use store bought skim milk. Please look for raw milk.
Step 2. Measure all of your ingredients, 1 gallon milk, 1 lemon zested, 3 tablespoons white wine vinegar, cream for texture and salt to season. Very important!!! Place your colander and cheese cloth in the sink for easy draining.
Step 3. Bring your milk up to 155 to 165 degrees stirring constantly about 10 minutes at medium heat. You can make it!
Step 4. Add lemon zest.
Step 5. Add vinegar and turn off heat.
Step 6. Stir until curds form, and pour through cheese cloth.
Step 7. Add cheese curds to stainless steel bowl and add cream to help cool, and determine consistency
Step 8. Once cool place in plastic container and allow to rest for 30 minutes.
Step 9. Add more cream to desired consistency
Step 10. Enjoy!!!!
Step 11. Make more.
Step 12. Share it with friends!
And that's it a simple 12 step homemade cheese recipe. Enjoy. Until next time... Happy cooking.
+http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gCJj7b6JlJQ This is the video to follow along with enjoy.
Wednesday, February 9, 2011
Ok so here it is, our trip to Italy. This is the Flyer and information to get you booked to Tuscany with me! Chef Andrew H. Garrett. I would love to have y'all as guests so please contact me or Colleen at Peak Travel, so we can get ya booked for the Culinary Adventure of the year! Here is the link.
Friday, February 4, 2011
On Monday we took a ride out to Canby, Oregon because I needed to pick up a half lamb carcass from Dan Wilson, the owner and operator of "Sudan Farms". Why am I getting a lamb carcass? I am teaching class on Butchery. Yes, I spent my birthday sharing my passion for food with a group of open minded and excited students. During class, I taught them how to butcher a chicken, truss a chicken, and bone one completely. I also had a guest Chef instructor, Rawburt M., who is very experienced with fish. He showed his way of cleaning a whole Pacific salmon, and also his method for shucking oysters. We followed that up with my live demo of how to butcher a whole lamb.
I am going to interject my personal opinion here as to why using local farms are so important to me. I really love to get out and visit different farms. I have an uncanny desire to learn where my food comes from. Again, it is so important to me that I know the products I am going to use were raised by men and woman who care and who are passionate about what they do, by people who care about their animals, vegetables, trees, and families the way I care about the final product and the way it will make you feel. Yes, it may be more expensive to buy locally but you know where it comes from!!! You can talk to the people who raise your food and see the truth in their eyes, Have you ever had a produce guy at a supermarket tell you how the tomatoes were grown? Ask him next time you’re there. I bet he has no clue. This isn't his fault. Do you see my point? We are slowly losing a connection with our food. With today’s farmer’s markets and health food stores, it is really convenient to meet these wonderful folks. Introduce yourself and ask questions. Why do I travel 50 minutes outside of the city for lamb? Because I know that when I use an animal with all the respect I can, t it will transfer into my final dish ultimately giving you the best experience I can and YOU are who I aim to please. So when possible, try to eat local. It’s well worth the extra money.
So, what am I going to do with 22 pounds of lamb? I am going to prepare a lamb stew inspired by Spanish spices.
This is the recipe:
3 pounds Lamb shoulder cubed 1"
4 ounces Carrots peeled and diced 1/2"
4 ounces Celery rinsed and diced 1/2"
8 ounces Yellow onions diced 1/2"
6 each garlic cloves ends removed and crushed
1T Caraway seed
1T Cumin seed
1t cayenne pepper
1 each cinnamon stick
2 each bay leafs
1T sea salt
7 sprigs of fresh Thyme
14 ounce can of diced tomatoes, unseasoned
28 ounces of beef stock, unless you have lamb stock
Once you have all of your ingredients, place them into the crock pot starting with the lamb first, then the vegetables, then the liquids and spices. Make sure you do not over flow the crock pot. I filled my near the top and placed the pot over a sheet pan so that any condensation from the pot drips into there and not onto my counter tops. Now turn your pot to the “high” setting and let it cook for 3 hours. Then I stir it at this point. Turn the dial to “low” and allow the stew to cook for another 5 hours or until very aromatic and lamb is tender. And that’s it. Really easy, I know, but absolutely delicious. I eat this stew as it is out of a bowl or serve it over saffron rice, basmati rice, or even over lentils. It’s very hearty and soulful.
Enjoy and happy cooking!