Storm the Cassoulet

Homemade Mozzarella Cheese

Ingredients:

1 Gallon of Milk (Not Ultra Pasteurized)

1 1/2 tsp Citric Acid

1/4 Rennet Tablet or 1/4 tsp Single Strength Liquid Rennet

1 teaspoon kosher Salt

Purified or Distilled Water (Make sure water is not tap water.  Cannot use water that has any chlorine in it)

Equipment

Food Thermometer

Knife to Cut Curds

Spoon or Ladle to Stir Curds

5 quart Stainless Steel Pot

Large Stainless steel Colander

Large Glass bowl

Food grade, heat resistant gloves for stretching the curds

Method:

Prepare the Citric Acid and Rennet: Measure out 1 cup of water. Stir in the citric acid until dissolved. Measure out 1/4 cup of water in a separate bowl. Stir in the rennet until dissolved (mix the rennet just before you use it – potency expires in 20 minutes).

Warm the Milk: Pour the milk into the pot. Stir in the citric acid solution. Set the pot over medium-high heat and warm to 90°F, stirring gently.

Add the Rennet: Remove the pot from heat and gently stir in the rennet solution. Count to 30. Stop stirring, cover the pot, and let it sit undisturbed for 5 minutes.

Cut the Curds: After five minutes, the milk should have set, and it should look and feel like soft silken tofu. If it is still liquidy, re-cover the pot and let it sit for another five minutes. Once the milk has set, cut it into uniform curds: make several parallel cuts vertically through the curds and then several parallel cuts horizontally, creating a grid-like pattern. Make sure your knife reaches all the way to the bottom of the pan.

Cook the Curds: Place the pot back on the stove over medium heat and warm the curds to 105°F. Stir slowly as the curds warm, but try not to break them up too much. The curds will eventually clump together and separate more completely from the yellow whey.

Remove the Curds from Heat and Stir: Remove the pan from the heat and continue stirring gently for another 5 minutes.

Separate the Curds from the Whey: Ladle the curds into a microwave-safe bowl with the slotted spoon.

Microwave the Curds:  Microwave the curds for one minute. Drain off the whey. Put on your rubber gloves and fold the curds over on themselves a few times. At this point, the curds will still be very loose and cottage-cheese-like.

Microwave the Curds to 135°F: Microwave the curds for another 30 seconds and check their internal temperature. If the temperature has reached 135°F, continue with stretching the curds. If not, continue microwaving in 30-second bursts until they reach temperature. The curds need to reach this temperature in order to stretch properly.

Stretch and Shape the Mozzarella: Sprinkle the salt over the cheese and squish it with your fingers to incorporate. Using both hands, stretch and fold the curds repeatedly. It will start to tighten, become firm, and take on a glossy sheen. When this happens, you are ready to shape the mozzarella. Make one large ball, two smaller balls, or several bite-sized bocconcini. Try not to over-work the mozzarella.

The mozzarella can be used immediately or kept refrigerated for a week. To refrigerate, place the mozzarella in a small container. Mix a teaspoon of salt with a cup of cool whey and pour this over the mozzarella. Cover and refrigerate.

 

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Roasted Potatoes with Montreal Steak Seasoning

Ingredients:
2 lbs baby potatoes, sliced or cut into pieces
1⁄2 thinly sliced onion
1 each red & green pepper, thinly sliced
4 tablespoons McCormick’s Montreal Brand steak seasoning
1⁄4 cup olive oil

Method:
Wash and slice/cut baby potatoes.
Put in roasting pan along with thinly sliced onion and peppers.
Sprinkle with the Montreal Steak seasoning.
Pour oil over top, toss to coat well.
Bake in 400°F oven for approximately 30 minutes, turning once.
Potatoes are done when they are golden brown, with soft centres.

 

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New England Clam Chowder

 Ingredients

1 1/4 pound canned clams, minced, juices reserved

2-3 cups bottled clam juice

2 bacon slices, minced

1 onion, diced

2 tablespoons all-purpose flour

1 bay leaf

1/2 teaspoon thyme leaves, chopped

1 pound potatoes, peeled, diced

3 cups heavy cream or half and half

6 tablespoons dry sherry, or to taste

Salt, to taste

Freshly ground black pepper, to taste

Tabasco sauce, to taste

Worcestershire sauce, to taste

Oyster or saltine crackers, as needed

 Method

Drain the clam juice from the minced clams and combine with enough bottled juice to equal 3 cups of liquid.

Cook the bacon slowly in a soup pot over medium heat until lightly crisp, about 8 minutes.

Add the onion and cook, stirring occasionally, until the onion is translucent, about 5-7 minutes. Add the flour and cook over low heat, stirring with a wooden spoon, for 2-3 minutes.

Whisk in the clam juice, bring to a simmer, and cook for 5 minutes, stirring occasionally. The liquid should be the consistency of heavy cream. If it is too thick, add more clam juice to adjust the consistency. Add the bay leaf and fresh thyme.

Add the potatoes and simmer until tender, about 15 minutes.

Meanwhile, place the clams and cream in saucepan and simmer together until the clams are cooked, about 5-8 minutes.

When the potatoes are tender, add the clams and cream to the soup base. Simmer for 1-2 minutes.

Stir in the sherry. Season to taste with salt, pepper, Tabasco, and Worcestershire sauce. Serve in bowls with the crackers on the side.

From Gourmet Meals in Minutes by The Culinary Institute of America, (C) 2004 Lebhar-Friedman Books

 

 

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Knox Blox

Ingredients

3 (1/4 ounce) envelopes unflavored gelatin (Knox)

4 (3 ounce) boxes Jell-O gelatin (any flavor)

4 cups boiling water

Method

 Put Jell-O and Knox gelatin into a bowl.

 Add water and stir until dissolved.

 Pour into 9×13 inch pan. Cool in refrigerator.

 When firm, (4 to 5 hours) cut into squares.

 

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Scrambled Eggs (Bobby Flay)

The secret to Flay’s scrambled eggs is similar to Chef Ramsay’s: he also uses butter, crème fraîche, and chives in his basic soft-scrambled eggs.  The difference, however, is all in the process.

Flay starts by melting equal parts crème fraîche and unsalted butter in a non-stick pan over medium, then adding eggs (that have been pre-whisked in a bowl) and pepper right as it melts. He then continuously stirs, until he gets the soft, small-curd texture of soft-scrambled eggs, and finishes it with kosher salt and chives. Ramsay, by comparison, puts butter and eggs straight into a cold pan and cooks for 3 minutes, 30 seconds on, 30 seconds off, and only adds the salt and pepper and crème fraîche at the very end.

“No salt right until the finish, due to the fact you want people sleek curves on the eggs, and the salt will ruin that.” – Bobby Flay

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