Monday, June 11, 2012

Ham and Cheese Roll

I had 2 gallons of milk that I made up into mozzarella cheese this morning.  While it was sitting waiting for it to curdle I thought I would do something different with it and make some mozzarella cheese and ham roll ups.  When it was ready to be put in containers I took and cut it in half, patted it flat and added some black forest ham  on top of it, rolled it up and put it back in the bowl and stuck it in the microwave for about 15 seconds.  Just enough time for the cheese to melt a little to seal it into a roll.  I then cut it in half and wrapped in Saran Wrap and put it in the fridge to cool.  I will confess I did slice a small piece and put it on a cracker to test.  It is very good.  Next time I'll cut down on the amount of ham but otherwise this is something I will make again.  This would be perfect to serve at holiday times or as a snack.  Here is the recipe I use to make mozzarella cheese, I have no idea where I got it.

Mozzarella Cheese

1 gallon of whole milk, raw or store bought (I use partially skim milk because I separate the raw milk to get the cream to make butter)
1 1/2 tsp citric acid dissolved in 1/2 cup cool water
Rennet, follow the directions on your rennet as how much to use per gallon of milk.  I use animal rennet that I send for and I use 1/16 of a tsp for 1-3 gallons of milk
1 tsp sea or kosher salt

Place the milk in a large heavy bottomed stock pot.  Heat to 55 degrees F.  Add the citric acid /water solution and stir to mix, gently stir once in a while to keep the milk from scorching on the bottom of the pan..  When it reaches 90 degrees F add the rennet solution, stir to mix and continue heating until it reaches 105 degrees F.  Remove from the heat and check for curd.  When the milk has fully curdled and separated from the whey drain in a cheese cloth lined colander.
Put the drained curds in a microwave safe bowl and heat on high for 1 minute.  Remove and drain any whey and knead the curds in the bowl to distribute the heat.  This is where you need a good pair of rubber gloves.  Add the salt and return to microwave and heat for 35 seconds, drain any whey, knead, return to microwave for the 3rd time for 35 seconds.  Remove, drain, knead; at this point the cheese will be shinny and taffy like.  Knead until it is shinny and elastic, form into whatever shape you want, wrap and put in the fridge.  This will keep at least one week in the fridge. 
I remove the cheese from the covered container after 24 hours, put it in a vacuum seal bag and remove the air and put it in the freezer.  I have kept cheese in the freezer for several months without any change of flavor or consistency.  When I am ready to use it I just thaw it.

I never just make 1 gallon at a time, if I am going to make a mess in the kitchen I might as well make a big one.  The pans I use to make cheese in will hold 4 gallons each and this is usually how big of batch I make at a time.  You will need to adjust the amount of time you put it in the microwave but you will know after making it a couple of times what it should look and feel like.

Cheese patted out.

Cheese with the ham.

All rolled up and ready for the microwave.

Out of the microwave.

All rolled and ready to be wrapped.

Taste sample, it had to be done.

Ready for the fridge.

Linking this to Homestead Barn Hop.


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