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Lowfat Cheese Recipe


Ingredients:

1 quart of low fat milk or goat's milk
1 cup buttermilk - active culture is necessary
2 teaspoons vinegar or lemon juice
½ teaspoon fine salt

Instructions:

Pour the milk into a heavy-bottomed saucepan over low heat. Don't boil the milk.

Stirring frequently, bring the heat to about 175 degrees. Do not allow the milk to form a skin. Use a confectionery thermometer, and make sure the temperature is right.

When the milk reaches the right temperature, pour in the buttermilk and vinegar, and turn off the heat. Continue stirring slowly, and watch as the milk begins to curdle. It should begin to curdle within 30 seconds. After it begins to separate into curds and whey, it needs to set for about 15 minutes.

While the cheese is setting, place several sheets of cheesecloth over a colander, and place the colander in a large bowl. Carefully spoon the curds and whey into the cheesecloth, allowing the whey to drain out. Let the cheese sit for about 10 minutes.

Now carefully gather the cheesecloth at the top, and tie it with a piece of string. Then tie the string to the middle of a wooden spoon so that the cheese bag will hang freely when you place the spoon over the bowl. Allow the wooden spoon to stay over the bowl for about a half hour so that all the whey that remained in the cheese has a chance to drip free.

Untie the string, and remove the cheesecloth. Dump the cheese into a bowl. Add the salt to the cheese, and mash it until the cheese is smooth. If you want a flavored cheese, add crushed rosemary, sage or thyme along with the salt.

The cheese can be eaten immediately if you don't want it in a specific shape, or it can be placed into a ramekin and pressed lightly to compress it so that there won't be holes in it when it's served. Before placing it in the refrigerator for 24 hours, cover the cheese with a plastic sheet.

To serve the cheese, flip it from the ramekin onto a small dish. For presentation, make sure the plate is covered with greens. (Spinach leaves or thyme and parsley sprigs work well.) Then drizzle a tablespoon of olive oil over the cheese, and sprinkle with crushed rosemary and pepper. Place it on the table as a soft spread to be used on bread and crackers.

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