Friends, I’m really making great strides with my kitchen resolutions. After last week’s successful attempt at homemade pie crust I decided to give homemade mozzarella a shot. I ordered a kit from New England Cheesemaking Supply Company, which includes everything you need to make the cheese, except for milk. I watched a couple videos online and purchased local milk from Crescent Ridge Dairy in Sharon, MA.
Despite following the instructions very carefully, I thought there was a good chance the process may have gone awry because my curds never really developed a solid form as the specifications indicated they would, but rather more of a cottage cheese texture floating in the pot. From what I’ve read, this may have resulted from overheating the milk, but I let the curds sit a bit longer than directed and in the end I was still able to drain the curds, stretch the cheese and form the mozzarella into a ball. The cheese eventually fell a little flat, but the flavor was delicious (especially after sitting for an hour or so). I’ll definitely try again and be extra vigilant about the temperature and also stretch the cheese a little more to see if I can develop a firmer texture. All in all, I was very happy with this first attempt at cheesemaking. I love making my own ricotta and now I can add mozzarella to my repertoire. I’d also like to try making goat cheese sometime.
Plum & Mozzarella Salad
2 cups mixed greens
1 ball of fresh mozzarella
1/2 cucumber, thinly sliced
1/2 lb asparagus spears, blanched, cut into 1-inch pieces
3/4 cup of cherry tomatoes, halved
1 teaspoon aged balsamic vinegar
1 tablespoon pine nuts, toasted
Sea salt and pepper to taste
Place arugula in a salad bowl. Slice plums into 8 segments, removing the pit. Tear or slice mozzarella into 1-inch pieces. Add plums, mozzarella, cucumber, asparagus and tomatoes to the mixed greens. Top with pine nuts. Drizzle with balsamic vinegar and season with salt and pepper.