Saturday, December 1, 2012

Marinated Feta

I did a cheese making course a couple of years ago in Gladstone with We made lots of cheeses, but not feta. The trainer did send me more recipes and also described a cheese called Chabichou, which is a soft feta. Don’t ask me how to pronounce it, but I decided to name a cow after the cheese and I pronounce it Shabby Shoe. Anyway Farmer Liz asked me how I make it, so I thought I’d blog about it, as it is one of the easiest, yummiest cheeses you could ever make.

I use starters from “Cheesemaking” and the one for this cheese is called Flora Danica. I also use it to make quark, which is usually made at the same time as my Chabichou, and cultured butter. I’m not sure what other culture would be suitable, but you don’t use a lot, so it probably doesn’t matter too much.

In the morning after milking I fill a bowl with milk – about 5 litres. I then add the starter at a rate of ¼ teaspoon to 20 litres of milk. Then add rennet: 1-2 drops to every litre of milk. Cover with a cloth and leave on the bench for the day. I don’t bother measuring the temperature as I just use fresh milk. If you were using milk out of the fridge, it would need to be heated to between 20 and 30 C.

In the afternoon it is ready to hoop. I use the basket in the picture and will fill three, or else I fill two and then put the rest in cheesecloth to drain (this is then quark and can be used like ricotta). Gently scoop the curd out of the whey, don’t cut it. Scoop and gently lay it into the baskets. Leave it covered over night. The next morning it will be half the size. Sprinkle it with salt and leave for about 2 hours. Carefully take it out of the basket and turn over, then sprinkle again. Leave for another 2 hours.

It’s then ready to be consumed. I usually collect some herbs from the garden and chop them. I then layer them in jars with the cheese and tip over oil.  I use grapeseed oil because it doesn’t set in the fridge like olive or macadamia oils.

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