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Making Feta Cheese and a Simple Greek Salad

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One rainy day over the Christmas break a few girlfriends and I decided to make some cheeses, feta, Camembert and Mozzarella. We buy milk from a local farmer by the 10 liter bucket so it makes sense to make cheese in bulk. The mozzarella I have made many times before and there is a recipe here, the Camembert I will blog about once it has matured over the next few weeks. The good thing about the feta is that it is ready to eat straight away or you can hold it in a brine solution for a few weeks.

It produces a nice soft creamy feta, not crumbly like traditional but perhaps that is because it was so fresh and it didn’t get a chance to age it. I’m also running a feta cheese making workshop at Gourmet Gannet in March for anyone interested and also take private group booking in Auckland.

I have not included a recipe for Greek salad, it is how you see it, either sliced or chopped tomatoes, cucumber, onion, feta cheese, a drizzle of olive oil, add some olives if you wish. I have a few more recipes with feta coming next, in the meantime here is how to make feta if you would like to give it a go, it’s quite easy.

Equipment
You can buy all the cheese equipment from Mad Millieif you are in New Zealand
Cheese thermometer
Feta cheese mould or you can use a sift and muslin cloth
Large heavy bottom pan
Long knife
Slotted spoon
Sterilizing tabs
Sterilize all equipment you are going to use. You can use the sterilizing tabs used for sterilizing babies bottles, found at local supper markets. Follow manufacturers instructions.

Ingredients
2 litres full cream milk (not homogenized)
½ tsp rennet (diluted with ½ tsp water)
8 grain of Flora Danica Culture or Lipase
1/2 tsp salt

Method
In a pan heavy bottom pan add the milk
Gently heat to 32C
Add the Flora Danica Culture or Lipase.
Dilute the rennet with a tablespoon of water.
Add the rennet to the milk and stir well.
Leave for 20-30 minutes to allow curds to form.
Cut curds into 1 cm cubes with a knife, then cut curds across the centre.
Leave the curds to sit for half and hour, folding them over each other every couple of minutes.
Ladle the curds into the feta moulds and allow to drain overnight in the fridge. Placing the moulds on a wire rack so the whey drains through.
In the morning make a brine solution of 20% salt to water.
Place the feta in the brine solution.
Feta can be eaten after 12 hours soaking or left to mature for up to two three weeks.

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26 Comments Post a comment
  1. awesome post – i’d love to make cheese sometime. thanks for sharing.

    January 7, 2012
  2. You are amazing Alli! I love your cheese

    January 8, 2012
  3. Love the pic and styling, looks fresh and inviting – made me instantly want to click on the link.
    Good way to start the New Year! Ingrid

    January 8, 2012
  4. I am so excited to see this post and I´m off to check out the mozzarella one too. We get given fresh goat´s milk often by the goatherds and I make curd cheese and yogurt but really want to branch out a bit. Fantastic….can you tell I´m excited?!

    January 8, 2012
    • peasepudding #

      I am so jealous that you get fresh goats milk, that would make wonderful feta and mozzarella

      January 8, 2012
  5. Sounds brilliant – I wish had access to lots of milk and the space to make it ;-)

    January 8, 2012
    • peasepudding #

      I a very lucky having a cooking school on site for this kind of thing ;0)

      January 8, 2012
  6. Beautifully presented! Simplicity rules. That cheese must taste divine.

    Cheers,

    Rosa

    January 8, 2012
  7. I love Feta, i don’t know why I don’t make it more often.. you are so lucky being able to buy milk locally.. My cow down the road, has dried up for the winter which is just so sad.. sometimes i cut the feta into cubes and pop into a jar with garlic and olive oil and peppercorns and chillis.. YUM! c

    January 8, 2012
    • peasepudding #

      I’m definitely going to do that next if I can make a bigger batch and not eat it all before putting it into a jar :0)

      January 8, 2012
  8. That plate is so fresh and stunning looking.

    January 8, 2012
  9. Bunny Eats Design #

    You are amazing. I am in awe of your cheese making abilities. What a great idea to have a cheese making party with your girlfriends.

    January 8, 2012
    • peasepudding #

      Thanks. I probably shoul shave said I run workshops too! Not very good at self promoting my school am I? I have updated the post.

      January 8, 2012
  10. I love the photos and styling – Stunning. I have been cooking up a Greek storm from Tessa Kiros Greek cook book. You have inspired me to have a go and making some cheese. Cheese maker Website has been bookmarked for later so I cna have a better look.

    January 8, 2012
  11. It just totally blows my mind that you can just MAKE cheese. To me, it’s always been something that just magically comes from a package from a far away land of deliciousness. The fact that you just MAKE cheese is so cool! :)

    January 8, 2012
    • peasepudding #

      Hee..hee, that’s funny, I’m sure you will ale it one day too on your great food journey!

      January 8, 2012
  12. Mel #

    Wow! That looks great – and I too love that you made your own cheese!

    January 9, 2012
  13. Yummmmm – I was given a Millie’s cheese making class voucher for Christmas for Mozzarella and Ricotta. I am jealous you get milk from the farm directly as I’d love to get more into dairy produce for home. Look forward to hearing about how the Camembert turns out.

    January 9, 2012
  14. Oh wow, I LOVE feta and thankfully for me it’s the one cheese the kids and I tolerate. Making your own, now that sounds like fun.

    January 10, 2012
  15. I simply adore fresh feta! Great post thank you, I have been playing around with some cheese making ideas and must try this :)

    January 11, 2012
  16. Oh, nothing I love more than a simple Greek salad – takes me back to Paros and eating them every single day and never tiring of them. I’ve been meaning to have a go at making feta for ages – maybe I’ll experiment on the weekend.
    xo

    January 12, 2012
  17. Sally H #

    I have goats and make cheese regularly when they are in milk. If you want your feta to be more crumbly, let it age/drain more before putting it in the brine. I drain it in the cheesecloth for about 24 hrs, cut it into cubes, sprinkle salt over said cubes, and drain them (in a plastic box in the ‘fridge) for at least another 24 hrs. _Then_ put the cubes in the brine, for at least a week. Way saltier than yours, I’m sure, and also drier, so more crumbly.

    It is amazing to me that people have forgotten that, not too long ago, every family made almost all the food they ate. I can’t count the number of times people have said to me, “You make your own bread?!” Yes, in fact, I do. And cheese, and soup, and pie crust, and salad dressing, and ….. well, you get the point. I guess I’m just weird that way.

    January 17, 2012
    • peasepudding #

      I don’t think you are weird, I would have so much fun with you comparing homemade goodies and what I would give to make cheese with goats milk. Many thanks for your tips on feta.

      January 17, 2012
  18. mairi29 #

    That cheese looks wonderful Ali, must go check out the cheese classes….having a mental block & have 2 cheese kits to use!!

    February 3, 2012

Trackbacks & Pingbacks

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