Author Topic: For those that love Pepper Jack cheese......  (Read 2495 times)

Offline Likesspace

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For those that love Pepper Jack cheese......
« on: March 21, 2009, 09:23:25 PM »
Guys…
Not sure if I mentioned it or not but about three weeks ago I attempted my pepper “Swiss” cheese.
What I did was to use my swiss recipe for the curd, with the omition of the proprionic shermanii additive.
Well tonight I was a little bit bored and decided to cut into this wheel and I have to say that this will be a cheese that I’ll be making a LOT in the future.
The texture is MUCH like a commercial pepper jack and the flavor is pretty much right on as well ( more firm but very moist and very nice). It does NOT have the crumbly texture that I’ve seen with every other attempt at a pepper jack style of cheese.
As I said, this cheese is going to see a lot of action from here on out and since it’s pretty much my own recipe…...
Well I’ve decided to name it: Alpine Pepper Cheese.
If anyone would like to give this a try, I basically used my swiss recipe as a base and then ommitted the proprionic shermanii bacteria and added both green “pickled” jalepenos and red pickled bell peppers.
I did boil the peppers in vinegar for about 10 minutes and gave them plenty of time to dry out.
The addition of the peppers was done while loading the mold,alternating between layers of curd and layers of peppers.
I do think I’ll double the amount of peppers that I put in the next attempt since they are somewhat sparse in this one.
All in all,I’m absolutely thrilled with this cheese and can’t wait to get another one going.
I’m serious guys.
I’ve only had a small slice (trying to get rid of the winter fat) but this cheese is one of the best I’ve made, hands down.
The three week aging time seems to be just about right but I think if waxed you could age it much longer with no problems. The only thing that I think might come from longer aging times is a more sharp flavor which from my experience is NOT what you want out of a pepper jack style of cheese.
I’d love for you all to give it a try and let me know what you think.

Dave

Offline Worlock

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Re: For those that love Pepper Jack cheese......
« Reply #1 on: March 21, 2009, 09:29:38 PM »
Jalapeno cheese is my Mecca.... I will feel complete when I can make a successful rind of it.   That my friend is a beautiful cheese....

Offline mako

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Re: For those that love Pepper Jack cheese......
« Reply #2 on: March 21, 2009, 10:12:25 PM »
That looks fabulous. Kind of ugly, but in a beautiful way -- generally the sign of great cheese.  ;D

I picked up a bunch of (ok, only four, but they are hellaciously hot) habanero peppers yesterday, in anticipation of making a real light-you-on-fire type of pepper jack... but I may have to try this method instead. First I'm gonna have to figure out how to prep the peppers. Pickled is pretty different from fresh.

Offline Worlock

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Re: For those that love Pepper Jack cheese......
« Reply #3 on: March 21, 2009, 10:16:24 PM »
Well Makk I'm obviously not a cheese expert, but I've wagged my tail a time or two for hot peppers.  And the only way to get them to live long term is to soak them in Vinagar (ie, high acid environment) or dry and solo... In our case here we're looking at a high acid environment.  Which I think he's doing a very good job with. 

I can talk all day on hot peppers... lol...That is a serious passion for me.

Offline Tea

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Re: For those that love Pepper Jack cheese......
« Reply #4 on: March 22, 2009, 03:36:08 PM »
Dave congrats on the cheese.  Wonderful to see that the experiement worked for you.

Offline DeejayDebi

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Re: For those that love Pepper Jack cheese......
« Reply #5 on: March 22, 2009, 04:07:07 PM »
Dave that is one fine looking cheese! Congrats! I think your right on with pickled peppers. I have tried dried and fresh and they don't cut it!

I mixed mine in with the curds before the first pressing on my asiago and it worked well for even distribution but the red peppers stained my mould. They go good with a young asiago too.

Offline Likesspace

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Re: For those that love Pepper Jack cheese......
« Reply #6 on: March 23, 2009, 09:24:38 PM »
Hey everyone...thanks for the posts.
I'm not too happy about the "smear" I got from the red peppers. That's something I'll have to work on. It makes for an ugly cheese and I don't like an ugly cheese. :-)
I am on the other hand happy witht the texture of the cheese, although the moisture content is a little lacking.
When I first tasted this cheese I was first of all hungry and secondly a bit buzzed (cheese and wine go really well together), so it tasted perfect.
After additional samples, the cheese is a little bit too firm and does not have the higher moisture content I'm looking for.
I'm sure that with enough practice I can make this cheese become exactly what I'm after but it needs some more thought and planning before another attempt is made.
It's needs to be a bit more soft and a bit more moist and then it truly will be of commercial quality.
If anyone has any suggestions on how to achieve these characteristics I'd love to hear them.

Dave

Offline Worlock

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Re: For those that love Pepper Jack cheese......
« Reply #7 on: March 23, 2009, 09:27:34 PM »
Most peppers are going to be vinegar based, which will change your main cheese construction.  If you use dried, the propagation of flavors will be minimilized.... It's a delicate balance in my opinion.

Offline DeejayDebi

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Re: For those that love Pepper Jack cheese......
« Reply #8 on: March 23, 2009, 09:47:51 PM »
I was thumbing through one of my cheese books last night and they mentioned using dried peppers in cheese.

Offline John (CH)

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Re: For those that love Pepper Jack cheese......
« Reply #9 on: March 24, 2009, 02:51:50 AM »
Echo Debi, I used fresh peppers . . . not as good.

Offline Tea

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Re: For those that love Pepper Jack cheese......
« Reply #10 on: March 24, 2009, 03:23:24 PM »
Has anyone tried roasting them?  Might be nice in a smoked cheese?

Offline Wayne Harris

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Re: For those that love Pepper Jack cheese......
« Reply #11 on: March 24, 2009, 07:11:39 PM »
I've not attempted this, but I have envisioned boiling my peppers down into a natural reduction, and then incorporating the reduction into the milk itself.  (Along with the peppers....)

Is that nuts?
Wayne A. Harris - in vino veritas

Offline DeejayDebi

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Re: For those that love Pepper Jack cheese......
« Reply #12 on: March 24, 2009, 08:04:30 PM »
Maybe the dried peppers soak up the water from the leftover whey. Could make a crumbly cheese if you use to much dried peppers I would think.

Offline Worlock

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Re: For those that love Pepper Jack cheese......
« Reply #13 on: March 24, 2009, 08:29:35 PM »
To weigh in here on the pepper front.  I've been growing, using, etc peppers for a very long time (well for me, lol) and I've found the best way to ensure that they stay fresh is this.  Dried peppers *do not like humidity* ... period... they tend to rot.  Acidic based preservation yields the best results.  And for the majority of those preservation methods, it's vinegar.  Which we know can and most likely will affect the end cheese flavor/consistency/etc.  What I think is the best answer to this, just from a pepper stand point is fresh.

Why I say that is this.  Cheese matures to a natural acidic balance over time.  That is the right environment to retard bad mold growth and degradation.  What I think is key here is the right pepper, and the right mixing of flavors.

I agree 100 percent by previous posters that a spicy pepper cheese really needs to taste a specific way.  It needs a mild flow of flavors mixed with the occasional *pow* of pepper flavor.  To achieve this you really should either pre cook them, which makes them mushy and not as fun as fresh, or perform an alcohol extract of dried flavors that you add to your cheese.  An alcohol solution, ie, white lightning, will extract an incredible significant amount of flavor and capsicum.  If you were to say add that extract into a fresh whey solution, coupled with the fresh pepper chunks, it is this persons opinion you would achieve the overall desired flavor.

The question here is how does an alcohol extract affect the chemical composition of cheese.

That is something I don't know.

What I would try is this.  Take one dozen Jalapeno's... dry them in a way similar to jerky... any dehydrator will do.  A tip here is to make an X cut on the end to facilitate faster drying.  After that, take a coffee bean grinder, I have one for peppers, and one for coffee beans.  Grind them up into a fine powder, seeds and all.  Place the entire contents into a sealable container, usually a mason jar and fill with at least 1-2 inches above the powder level worth of white lightning alcohol.  You can use lower potency alcohol for flavor, but for a pure extract white lightning is the best.  Wait several weeks for the process to complete.  The liquid left is an incredibly potent pure extract of the flavor of the pepper. 

Couple that procedure with your original fresh pepper cuttings and I'll bet you 100 bucks it's going to deliver on taste.  What I would caution however is the amount of extract to put in.  That 1-2 inches in that mason jar will last a very long time.  I would start off with 1/4 tsp amounts to 1 gallon at first and judge it's effectiveness.  Increasing it over time to discover what the flavor level you want.

I could talk peppers for ever, lol... I should probably hush now.

Offline DeejayDebi

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Re: For those that love Pepper Jack cheese......
« Reply #14 on: March 24, 2009, 08:39:29 PM »
Ya know Worlock I'm thinking here (very dangerous indeed!)

... remember our conversation about lactose fermented veggies ? ....

Here we have lactose again  - in the cheese and the whey that's still in there ... maybe there's still enough in the cheese extract the natural lactose in the little pepper flakes to ferment them or at least preserve them?   ???