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Freeze Drying

It was a freeze drying kind of week. I spent the week cutting up 2 pecks of onions and dicing them.

I diced them real small because I don't like big hunks of most veggies. I freeze dried 9 trays of diced onions. I had a load of 2 pans of pepper and 1 onion, Those were cut in bigger chunks for Philly cheese steak.

I ended up with 2 gallons of diced freeze dried onions. I did powder some for my spice cabinet

I also freeze dried one load of candy- skittles, salt water taffy and gummie bears.

Cheese Curds

I have made cheese before but never curds. As a matter of fact I have never eaten curds. That was until my daughter and son-in-law took us to a restaurant in Johnstown for Mother's Day. They ordered deep fried tempura cheese curds as an appetizer. OH MY GOODNESS!! I fell in love. So I decided this week I would give it a try.

I started out with a gallon  of milk. Heated it to 91° Sprinkle ¼ tsp mesophilic culture and let sit for 5 minutes. Stir and maintain milk at 91° for 40 minutes. Add  rennet solution into milk, stirring until completely incorporated. Cover and hold at 91° for 45 minutes.

 Cut curds into cubes. .Cover and allow curds to sit for 5-10 minutes. Uncover and gently stir the pot while increasing the temp slowly over 30 minutes to 102º Once 30 minutes is up and temperature is reached cook curds for another 40 minutes, stirring gently every 5 minutes. Rest for 15 minutes.

 Pour into a cheesecloth lined colander over another pot, and drain for 15 minutes. You need to save the whey and heat it to 115º  Place the colander overtop the heated whey, and cook for 15 minutes.

 Lift the curds out and cut in half. Flip half of the loaf over the other half, place back in the colander, cover with cheesecloth, and cook for another 15 minutes. Repeat this process 4 times. This is called cheddaring.

Cut into bite size pieces. Add salt, Shake the curds and salt around so that all of the salt is absorbed into the curds. The flavor will develop over 12-14 hours


 The next day for lunch I made a tempura batter. 

3/4 c cornstarch

1/4 c flour

1 tsp baking powder

1/2 tsp salt

1/4 tsp pepper

1/2 c cold water

1 egg, slightly beaten

I deep fried the battered curds. Oh my!!  We ate almost the whole batch. It is very time consuming but so worth it.

How was your week?


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