Since everyone seems to be making pepper cheeses lately I decided to add another to join my chipotle cheddar. Once I realized how cool sounding a name I had come up with for this one, I figured I had better make it so I can claim the trademark.
As the name implies, the base cheese is a Monterey Jack, pretty much following the 200 easy cheeses recipe. After draining I put the curds back in the pot and added 2 bhut jalokias and 4 Fatali scotch bonnets that I grew last summer. The dried peppers got a whirl in my coffee/spice grinder to make the pieces potentially tolerable and soaked them in water while the cheese was cooking. I chose this blend to mimic a nice and tasty hot sauce my son made. I guess I could have added garlic and black pepper to make it more like the sauce - next time. I also added salt along with the peppers because I forgot to buy enough to make a brine.
I ended up with just a bit more curd than would fit in my small mold from 2.5 gallons of PH milk. The 200 Easy recipe calls for pressing under "firm" pressure, 20-40 psi. The best I can muster up is about 10 psi on my small mold so that will have to do.
I nibbled on some leftover curd to get a feel for the heat and flavor. Heat is up there, I think only hard core chiliheads will be able to handle this unless it mellows quite a bit in the cave. The citrus like flavor of the fatalis dominates, with the bhut flavor coming in at the end. I find it hard to describe, and you really only get to it if you've cooked off most of the heat. It will make interesting cheeseburgers on Memorial Day.
A shot of the leftover curd - not many big pieces, which for most of us is a good thing. The red is bhut, the yellow fatali. For the uninitiated, bhut jalokias are around 1,000,000 Scovilles, Fatalis 300-400,000 and Tabasco sauce around 2,500. I guess I put the equivalent of a cup of Tabasco in a 2 pound cheese.
Half an hour after eating a half teaspoon of curds I still have a nice warm feeling in my belly. And a shot after the first pressing.