I wondered if asking people to make their own cheese and devise a recipe around it would be a step too far. I envisaged the tumbleweeds blowing across my blog throughout the month, as I frantically made cheese myself and cooked it up to make things look busy. But I under-estimated my fellow bloggers big-time and the sound of whey dripping through tea-towels echoed across the globe. A couple of them in particular (no names mentioned… ;)) seem to have become quite hooked on the entire process and I look forward to some magnificent creations clogging up their fridges and cellars very soon. But onto the round-up…
I was first off the block this month with a Yorkshire Curd Tart, a traditional dish that uses left-over curds to produce a somewhat savoury/somewhat sweet treat.
Next along was regular Cheese, Pleaser Food Day-Dreaming with her Home-made Ricotta and Mushroom Pate, combining tangy ricotta with mushrooms, onions, lemon juice and spices for spreadable loveliness.
Flippenblog initially panicked but rose admirably to the challenge with Ricotta Vegetable Pots. Using home-made ricotta with extra cheese and cooked vegetables these little cheesy pots are the perfect starter or nibble, filled with freshness.
Mrs Portly’s Kitchen took a different approach altogether, using yoghurt to make Home-made Labneh. With one half of them rolled in za-atar spices and the other half mixed with harissa and rolled in parsley and lemon zest, they are both spreadable and pop-whole-into-the -mouthable.
The marvellously-named Put on Your Cake Pants put on the said item of clothing next to bring us Orange Ricotta Poppy Seed Coffee Cake. Gloriously moist with the citrus tang of orange and a crunchy oaty, nutty topping, it would be perfect for coffee – or tea.
Food Day-Dreaming was back with more cheese, this time plumping for a creamy version to cook up her Home-made Baked Ricotta. Resembling a little soufflé, these baked goodies are filled with pine nuts, chillies, parmesan and thyme for a great little starter.
Edible Things was literally on fire with her first post. Not only did she make her own mozzarella but then magicked it into Hot Smoked Home-Made Mozzarella over a mixture of oak and alder chips. Hot stuff – and delicious-looking.
If you’ve got a glut of mozzarella then what better than DIY Pizza with Home-Made Mozzarella. Edible Things returned with a recipe that used leftover whey to make the dough and then allowed guests to make their own pizzas from a variety of toppings – including home-made cheese. Yum!
A new cheese challenger this month was Spicy, Quirky and Serendipitous who shared a Potato, Carrot, Quinoa and Home-made Cheese Salad. Combining spicy vegetables with healthy quinoa, it’s topped off with lovely little lumps of home-made cheese for extra freshness.
My second recipe of the month was Working Girl’s Baked Ricotta, combining the black olives, capers and chilli of puttanesca fame with eggs, ricotta and bay leaves. Admittedly it’s a bit funny tasting but look, so pretty! 😉
Bringing some Indian flavours to the Challenge this time, Put on Your Cake Pants was back with Chickpea and Cucumber Quinoa Bowls with Home-made Ricotta. Plump fresh tomatoes and chickpeas in spices are mixed with cucumbers and coriander and topped with fluffy home-made cheese.
Edible Things had the cheese-making bug bad by now and so shared her Home-Made Ricotta Gnudi with Tomato and Chilli Sauce. Making genuine ricotta from leftover whey, she transformed it into fluffy little ‘pillows’ of cheesy loveliness in a slightly spicy sauce.
And where there’s a cheese, there’s a whey and so Edible Things rustled up some Lacto-Fermented Vegetables, using the whey to preserve fennel and cucumber with a mixture of herbs and spices. Still fermenting away, we wait with baited breath to see if they tasted nicer than my efforts!
And finally, surely collapsing with cheese-induced exhaustion by now, she used more of the whey to make Lacto-fermented Gingerade. A recipe I’m dying to try, what better than healthy, fizzy ginger beer? Bring on the summer.
Sometimes we crave the simpler things and so Saucy Gander rounded up a fruitful month of cheese-making with Whipped Ricotta. Whipping goat’s curd with cream cheese, she stuffed it into dates with chopped pistachios. A gorgeous combination – with some cheese poetry too.
It was an amazing array of recipes this month, made all the more exceptional by the fact that all the cheese was made from scratch. I promised the prize of a book for the ‘best’ recipe but I then realised what a terrible task it is to be a judge when so much effort and imagination has gone into the recipes. But I downed a gin, steeled myself and got together with my fellow judge for discussion. It was ridiculously difficult and I would send a copy to you all if I could but the winner this month is…drum-roll…Edible Things for her Home-Made Ricotta Gnudi with Tomato Chilli Sauce. And a big thanks to everyone who contributed this month 🙂