About five years ago, I was working as an interpreter for a client based in Switzerland. When I met this client for the first time, this gentleman presented me with home-made Swiss cheese. He said they were made by his neighbor and showed me a picture of a cow which belonged to his neighbor. The cow looked sort of funny in the picture, but the cheese! The cheese was superb. In Hong Kong, cheese we see in a supermarket are usually imports. I do not recall seeing made in Hong Kong cheese in a nearby store. But I have seen milk which seem to be produced in a nearby province. Ladies and gentlemen, it’s cheese making time.
Tips: (1) When heating the milk, do not exceed over 60ºC as it will destroy the creamy effect. (2) The amount of salt used in this recipe is 1% of the weight of the cheese. You can of course make this without any salt. (3) 3.6% fat whole milk is used for this recipe, but higher the % of fat, more the amount of curds you can make.
Recipe: Creamy Thyme Cottage Cheese
- 1L whole milk
- 100ml white vinegar or lemon juice
- 2 tablespoon dried thyme, fresh works too, but use 6 tablespoons instead
- 2 g salt
- In a large cooking bowl, place a small to medium size sieve bowl and set cheesecloth.
- Pour the milk in a cooking pot and heat until it reaches 55-60ºC. If you are using dried thyme, add into the pot while the milk is being heated.
- Remove from fire and add the vinegar or lemon juice. If you are using fresh thyme, add into the pot at this stage. Stir gently. Allow to sit at room temperature for 15-30 minutes. The milk mixture will separate into whey (liquid) and curds (solid).
- Gently pour the mixture into the sieve bowl lined with cheesecloth. Gather up the edges of the cloth and rinse in cold water. This is to get rid of acidic flavor out from the cheese. Change the water for 3 to 4 times and rinse until the water no longer becomes cloudy. Shake gently in the water while rinsing. Do not squeeze at this stage.
- Remove from water and squeeze gently until it reaches the hardness you desire. For creamy effect, do not squeeze too much but stop squeezing when the cheese weighs around 200g.
- Add the salt and mix.
- Enjoy as it is or as an ingredient for other dishes such as cheesecake!
This article was written by Chia.
I’m a freelance translator with background in biology. Upon meeting my future husband in Spain, I moved to Hong Kong to start our lives together. I’m still exploring what Hong Kong has got to offer
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