Last month NAIT launched its own line of cheeses, made by students of the Culinary Arts program. My Instagram and Twitter feed all of a sudden exploded with local foodies making cheeses, as a sneak peek into basic courses they also offer for non-diploma students. Thankfully, Andrea posted her experience as well as a recipe for a 30 minute mozzarella cheese. Now who can resist that? So a few weeks ago, Jody rounded Rachel and I to try it out at her new home.
First step: buy the right ingredients. Pictured above is all you need: 1% or 2% milk (anything not skimmed or not ultra-pasteurized will work), rennet tablets, and citric acid. You can buy the rennet tablets at the Italian Centre Shop. After a quick read of my coworker’s cheese book, apparently there are different kinds of rennet! We had originally bought “Junket” rennet, which apparently is not the right kind. Fromase 50, although a lot more expensive, was the correct one to make the 30 minute recipe. 100 tablets for $29.99, an a quarter of a tablet per batch… that’s a lot of cheese. But well worth it.
The first batch was made with the Junket rennet tablet. The cheese in the end still turned out well, similar in texture to the Fromase rennet, but it took almost 4 hours to curdle correctly! This is what a clean break should look like. We definitely didn’t get it in under 10 minutes with the Junket rennet.
There was a noticeable difference between the two tablets when we drained the cheese too. The Junket tablets took a lot longer to drain, somehow absorbing a lot of the whey compared to the other. Maybe if we had waited for another 3 hours it would have drained faster!
After draining, pressing, and microwaving, we were able to finally season with salt and shape!
End result: fresh mozzarella cheese! Using the Fromase rennet tablets, it was definitely within 30 minutes! Both tasted very similar though, in flavor and in texture.
Best way to use the cheese? Make a pizza of course! Prior to starting the cheese, we had started a basic pizza dough. Just had to roll it out, crush some San Marzano tomatoes, rinse some fresh basil (they survived winter in my basement!), add Italian deli meats and…
Voila! Gorgeous homemade pizza. In all honesty, the mozzarella was fairly easy to make! Full recipe on Andrea’s post or if you feel like you need some more help, you can register for the NAIT course! Next time I want to experiment different kinds of milk and maybe flavor it with herbs and see how it turns out. One step closer to homecooking everything! A blind taste test by my coworkers between the Junket rennet cheese, Fromase rennet cheese, and a boccocini from the Italian Centre proved that homecooked could taste just as good as store-bought. Definitely try the 30 minute mozzarella when you get a chance!