Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Scraps and Snippets ~ Feeling Cheezy?

Buffalo Mozzarella

Sprout and soak grains to make your own rejuvelac
Sometimes it's a little scary to spend time with like-minded people. After all, folks who may mesh with us on one level may be polar opposites in others....

We've met a few fun people via Vegan Omaha, a group that gets together to do meet ups at local restaurants several times a year.

The Vegan Cheese Issue
Anyhoo, Sarah and Lindsey are some of the fun Vegans we've connected with via Vegan Omaha. And we've started hanging out a bit here and there. This is probably dangerous on a few levels. A few weeks ago & and Lindsey came up with an EPIC idea.

For an upcoming meet up, Lindsey and & decided to make several artisan Vegan cheeses from the October issue of Veg News.

Cashews and unflavored, unsweetened soy yogurt - Vegan cheese maker's friends
Sweet and savory cream cheese, brie, sharp cheddar, mozzarella, chevre
And I got to help. Mostly by making snarky comments, laughing at mishaps, tasting and taking a picture now and again. 

Oh and filling cheese crusted bowls with water so they didn't turn into cheese cement.

This cheese making thing is pretty crazy cool.

We now know how to make rejuvelac and this is not for the weak-stomached in the crowd. My usual readers know all about "Mother" (Kombucha). Well. Let's just say rejuvelac might be queen mother because of her stench. Rejuvelac is the juice that forms after about two days of soaking sprouted grains. I believe it is the Vegan cheesemaker's whey. 

Not all Vegan cheeses have rejuvelac. I think only two did. The sharpest flavored two which, after one whiff, only makes sense

Rejuvelac (Let's say smells like cheese + old sweat socks)
Each cheese takes DAYS to make. Even the cream cheese (which is amazing). Why? There are hours or days of fermenting that takes place on the kitchen counter or within the dark, cool recesses of a closet or troll-cave-like-pantry. 

Brie (Next to last step)
Throwing the components together is easy, and each cheese really doesn't have a crazy list of ingredients. I think the cheddar and mozzarella were the most involved ingredient-wise. (We finally opened that miso and it's not as scary as I thought it'd be.) Each of the steps took 5 - 10 minutes but the prepping, soaking and fermenting makes this an epic project indeed.

Chevre (last stage before curing for 4 days)
I'll be sure to post comments, reviews and pictures of the plated cheeses. Suffice it to say we ordered the Vegan Artisan Cheese Cookbook after tasting these in step one and two. In spite of the work/wait etc. making our own cheeses just might have to be a regular to do on our list.