Author Topic: Pepper Swiss anyone?  (Read 2851 times)

Offline Likesspace

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Pepper Swiss anyone?
« on: March 02, 2009, 08:33:18 PM »
Okay, here's my thoughts......
I really love pepperjack cheese but as yet I have not been able to produce one that I really care for.
The taste is always nice but the texture pretty much sucks, at least compared to the commercial varities I've tasted.
Most Monterey Jack cheese that I've bought is nice and soft...nice and creamy.
My Monterey Jack cheese, on the other hand, is fairly dry and, if not crumbly, bordering on being so.
Recently I tried a Tuscany style pepper cheese that is much nicer than my previous attempts at pepperjack but even with this recipe it is quite a bit drier than I would like to see.
Well here's what I've been thinking:
I love the texture of a home made swiss cheese.
It is nice and soft....nice and smooth and nice and creamy (especially if eaten young).
What I'm wondering is if I can make a swiss cheese without the p. shermanii and still create the same type of texture in the curd.
If so, I would have a nice white cheese (like monterey jack), that could possibly have the jack flavor. I know the Tuscany cheese I made, that is also a thermophilic cheese, has a wonderful jack style flavor.
If I were to make a swiss curd, without the p. shermanii, and layer the curd with jalepenos.....do you think I would turn out the nice soft, moist texture that I'm looking for?
I would love to hear any and all opinions on this since I'm only guessing as to how this would turn out.
I'll probably give it a go sometime in the next week or so, but I'd like to hear what others have to say as well.
Thanks in advance.

Dave


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Offline DeejayDebi

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Re: Pepper Swiss anyone?
« Reply #1 on: March 29, 2009, 10:36:13 PM »
If I were to add peppers I thing it would be after draining and mixed a bowl right before pressing. I would also use dried pepper flake or cube or diced whatever you prefer to call them.

These folks have very good high quality dried peppers.

http://www.butcher-packer.com/index.php?main_page=index&cPath=32_136&sort=20a&page=2

1 pound may not sounds like much but it's about 1/2 gallon of dried peppers.

Offline BoilerMaker

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Re: Pepper Swiss anyone?
« Reply #2 on: April 03, 2009, 02:57:07 PM »
I think that is a great idea.

Whenever I make a milled type cheese (cheddar or jack), the cheese seems to be a mix of either too moist and/or too crumbly. But when I make my parmesan, I get a nice smooth texture when the cheese is young. Similar to your swiss/jack idea, I will probably try to incorporate some of the parmesan techniques when I make cheddar next. If my texture hasn't improved, I will then proably add some thermo starter along with my meso starter, increase the temp by a few degrees, and see what happens.

Offline DeejayDebi

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Re: Pepper Swiss anyone?
« Reply #3 on: April 03, 2009, 11:24:37 PM »
Well I made 4 mini wheels of Jack cheese tonight and a bag of squeeky cheese (I know I'm just a big kid). I added some dried peppers to 3 of them and some dried and pickled peppers to one and pepperoni to another we'll see how it works. The curds are fantastic. I had to force myself to stop stealing them during the final cook.  ;D

Offline goatherdess

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Re: Pepper Swiss anyone?
« Reply #4 on: July 25, 2009, 10:29:47 PM »
I use a brick recipe and then brine it and wax it for pepper cheese. This one was 5 quarts milk with 1/2 cup diced hot peppers (I forget which kind, Jalapeño maybe.) from my garden.  I add the peppers to the curds near the end of the stirring, but before straining them. I let them dry overnight  (12 hours) before waxing. This one just came out of the brine a couple of hours ago.


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Offline DeejayDebi

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Re: Pepper Swiss anyone?
« Reply #5 on: July 28, 2009, 10:20:04 PM »
That looks so pretty! Nice job Goatherdess!

Offline Ziggy

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Re: Pepper Swiss anyone?
« Reply #6 on: August 02, 2009, 08:06:22 PM »
"This one was 5 quarts milk with 1/2 cup diced hot peppers (I forget which kind, Jalapeño maybe.) from my garden. "

Do you dry/dehydrate  them first or put them in fresh?
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Offline goatherdess

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Re: Pepper Swiss anyone?
« Reply #7 on: August 03, 2009, 06:47:09 AM »
Fresh. The point of putting them in the pot while still stirring the curds is that much of the 'heat' goes into the whey. Then when the curds are strained the peppery whey gets drained off, leaving a cheese that won't burn your mouth. I don't know the chemistry on this, I just know that something in the whey absorbs much of the heat from the peppers. You can't really use this whey for anything else though, like baking cakes or other food uses, unless you want something to come out "hot". I guess if you wanted a full strength fiery cheese you could add the peppers after the draining. The ones from my garden are super hot though so I do it this way. I'm sure everyone already knows to use plastic gloves while dicing fresh hot peppers.

Offline DeejayDebi

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Re: Pepper Swiss anyone?
« Reply #8 on: August 04, 2009, 11:35:15 AM »
I firey brine might be just what the doctor order for say brining a pork butt or a ham or maybe even a brisket. I know some guys that would really love the extra heat. Hot wings a la pepper jack?  ;D

Offline goatherdess

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Re: Pepper Swiss anyone?
« Reply #9 on: August 05, 2009, 08:44:28 AM »
The brine itself doesn't get too hot. Just the whey. It would be useful in making south of the border flatbreads, but not in something like a vanilla cake. Debi, I'm a little confused - are you referring to using the whey for brining things in?


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Offline Tom Turophile / CheeseStud

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Re: Pepper Swiss anyone?
« Reply #10 on: August 05, 2009, 09:40:18 AM »
Fresh. The point of putting them in the pot while still stirring the curds is that much of the 'heat' goes into the whey. Then when the curds are strained the peppery whey gets drained off, leaving a cheese that won't burn your mouth. I don't know the chemistry on this, I just know that something in the whey absorbs much of the heat from the peppers. You can't really use this whey for anything else though, like baking cakes or other food uses, unless you want something to come out "hot". I guess if you wanted a full strength fiery cheese you could add the peppers after the draining. The ones from my garden are super hot though so I do it this way. I'm sure everyone already knows to use plastic gloves while dicing fresh hot peppers.


I would assume it would have to do something with this:
http://antoine.frostburg.edu/chem/senese/101/features/capsaicin.shtml
Milk contains casein, a lipophilic (fat-loving) substance that surrounds and washes away the fatty capsaicin molecules in much the same way that soap washes away grease.

Someone with more cheesemaking experience may be able to tell us if the casein stays with the whey.
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Offline linuxboy

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Re: Pepper Swiss anyone?
« Reply #11 on: August 05, 2009, 10:01:34 AM »
Yes, some casein remains with the whey.

The lack of heat in the final cheese when using fresh peppers has to do with exactly what you posted, plus the way the cheese matrix forms during coagulation and syneresis. That is, as you stir, the very large capsaicin molecules just cannot stay in the curd matrix and as the water is expelled, some fat and casein is also expelled. And out goes the capsaicin.

That's why if you use dry peppers, or if you add peppers to the drained curd, you can pack more heat in the final cheese. With dry peppers, the capsaicin is released more slowly into the cheese during aging. And when you add peppers to the done curd, the spice of course can't be expelled with the whey.
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Offline DeejayDebi

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Re: Pepper Swiss anyone?
« Reply #12 on: August 05, 2009, 07:22:05 PM »
Nice explaination guys I often wondered why that worked that way. Thanks!

Offline Likesspace

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Re: Pepper Swiss anyone?
« Reply #13 on: October 13, 2009, 08:14:47 PM »
Guys,
Here's an update on this cheese:
I did give it a go at the end of last season and the results were very nice.
I let it age about three months before cracking into it and was very satisfied with how it turned out.
The texture was nice and creamy but at the same time firm. The flavor of the jalepenos and smoked bell peppers that I used really worked well together.
After having tasted at three months I then sealed the cheese back up, and gave it another couple of months before tasting again. This time I came to the conclusion that it was one of the best cheeses that I've ever made.
I finally finished this wheel off about a month ago and I honestly hated to see it come to an end. I would recommend anyone giving this idea a try if they like a commercial style pepper jack cheese.
Now I will say this.....
I've also been giving thought to using a Romano base to make my next pepper jack style of cheese....
A young Romano has a very nice mouth feel and is even more soft and creamy than a swiss base would be.
I honestly feel as if the Romano idea would produce the closest result to a commercial variety that is possible in the home environment.
Anyway, I believe I'll give it a try and let you all know how it turns out.
For those that aren't familiar with my cheese making method it's all about trying new experiments and learning from my mistakes. Maybe it's not the most scientific way of doing things but man, it sure is fun.  :)

Dave

Offline Tea

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Re: Pepper Swiss anyone?
« Reply #14 on: October 14, 2009, 03:41:11 PM »
Dave have you thought about adding some cream to the recipe for extra softness.  I have always used the montrey recipe here with some added cream, and it always turns out a soft cheese.  I am doing an oil rind one at the moment.  It is going to be interesting to see how it turns out compared to the others.