Homemade Fresh Mozzarella

I’ve tried making mozzarella a couple of times before with no success..until now. This was fantastic. The recipe that worked for me was from the “Ideas in Food” book (I just did not use the Lipase enzyme). Now, this time I used raw non-homogenized milk from a farm. So, it still remains to be seen if I can repeat this success with regular store-bought whole milk.

The recipe is simple, but I think the details are important, especially temperature. The basic idea is to warm the milk slightly, then mix in citric acid and rennet (Whole Foods sells rennet by the way). Let those sit so the milk can acidify a little and the rennet can start making milk curds. I cut the curds, still in the whey, and heat the mixture gently again to a  specific temperature. Last step is to drain he curds and then melt them, stretch  and knead them in very hot salted whey in order to form those mozzarella balls. 

We enjoyed it simply with olive oil and some basil

VDP: Tomato and Mozzarella Salad

Thursday, August 28, 2008

Tomatoes, basil and fresh mozzarella. Few ingredients are better when combined. I love to make this salad with the best tomatoes I can find. I toss them with a dressing made with excellent quality olive oil (a Sicilian one in this case), very little minced garlic, salt and pepper. The key is, if you have the time, to let the tomato salad rest, for 15-30 minutes. This draws some of the juice out of the tomato and blends with the dressing.

The basil is added next and mixed in. Then I arrange the tomatoes on a platter, tear off pieces of milky fresh mozzarella and scatter them on top. A bit of salad greens go on top. Arugula is especially good. I drizzle the mixture with the rest of the dressing and serve it with grilled or toasted rustic bread.