Author Topic: Ideas for preserving mozzarella?  (Read 1094 times)

Offline curdgirl

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Ideas for preserving mozzarella?
« on: March 13, 2012, 08:58:55 AM »
Hi, this is my first cheesey post  ???

I help out at a commercial cheese dairy and on Mondays we make wonderful fresh mozzarella. I inevitably come home with a glorious warm tub of it (I know - and the problem is?!). But even if I want to I can't physically eat this much mozzarella when it's fresh and even with giving some to friends I'm looking for options. I've been experimenting with dicing it into cubes and preserving in oil and oil and vinegar herby concoctions with some success - hardens up much like feta and is quite tasty, esp if the solution has some nice herbs and a bit of white wine vinegar. BUT - what else can I do with it? It's a lot of oil to go through every week - could I possibly dry it out somehow, maybe brine it first? One of the guys I work with tried brining overnight and smoking and says that worked well - any and all ideas most welcome!!  ;)
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Offline linuxboy

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Re: Ideas for preserving mozzarella?
« Reply #1 on: March 13, 2012, 09:01:43 AM »
Freeze it or store in buffered cacl2/lactic acid solution (or adjust whey and use). Vacuum packing also helps.
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Offline curdgirl

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Re: Ideas for preserving mozzarella?
« Reply #2 on: March 13, 2012, 09:40:21 AM »
Thanks for the reply. If I freeze it should I freeze it within a water solution or freeze it without a solution? Is there a way to dry it out to let it age a bit? I'm a novice so not familiar with buffered cacl2/lactic acid solution.. right over my head  :-[
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Offline linuxboy

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Re: Ideas for preserving mozzarella?
« Reply #3 on: March 13, 2012, 09:42:09 AM »
Basically, store in a light whey brine.

If you dry it out, it won't dry the insides. But if you can get a protective rind on it, that would help protect the insides... like you would a provalone, for example.

freeze without liquid.
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Offline dthelmers

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Re: Ideas for preserving mozzarella?
« Reply #4 on: March 13, 2012, 09:52:14 AM »
Would it be possible to vacuum pack and age Mozzarella in a cheese cave? Or is the moisture content too high for aging? Since you have it, I'd give it a try.
Dave in CT


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Offline linuxboy

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Re: Ideas for preserving mozzarella?
« Reply #5 on: March 13, 2012, 09:55:12 AM »
Aging it would work, depending on moisture level. Maybe for 30-90 days max. Would be better if there was a little calf lipase added to add piquant notes.

You could also wash it with a stinky linens wash and it would turn out kind of like a limburger.
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Offline curdgirl

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Re: Ideas for preserving mozzarella?
« Reply #6 on: March 13, 2012, 10:29:42 AM »
I don't have access to a vacuum sealer but I like the idea of ageing it - limburger or provolone type sounds great. What do you mean by a stinky linens wash? Guess I should also look up how to get the rind like on a provolone.
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Offline linuxboy

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Re: Ideas for preserving mozzarella?
« Reply #7 on: March 13, 2012, 10:33:08 AM »
a b linens wash is what you'd use to create a smear rind cheese, like a limberger. You could take a morge or linens spray or wash and put it on the mozz. It will proteolyze the cheese to break it down and turn your mozz into a smear rind cheese. In other words, you could turn mozz into something completely different  - a pasta filata smear cheese.
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Offline DeejayDebi

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Re: Ideas for preserving mozzarella?
« Reply #8 on: March 13, 2012, 01:10:24 PM »
Scamorza of Bufala is a mozzarella usually made from bufalo milk that is aged a few days then smoked. I make a standard mozzarella with cows milk then it age a about 4 or 5 days and smoke it and it keeps for several weeks in the fridge (up to a month if you don't use plastic bags) and freezes very nicely. It also goes well in a lightly salted olive oil and light vinegar or lemon bath with herbs and roasted red peppers.

I think the best form for a pasta fileta cheese for aged is an ages provelone. Smells like ole gym socks but wonderful for eatting or grating.

Offline curdgirl

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Re: Ideas for preserving mozzarella?
« Reply #9 on: March 14, 2012, 06:53:26 PM »
Deejay, that's what I've been doing to date - olive oil/vinegar herby solution (I add sun dried toms) - it's really good. I think I'll try the ageing and smoking idea - do you age at room temp or do anything special to it at that stage? how do you do the smoking (how long in a smoker?)?

I like the idea of provolone too. It's great to know there's options!

Thank you

- p.s. I visited Neal's Yard cheese shop in London today - and came home with 3 lovely aged sheep cheeses. I laid them out, with some of my bottled mozza, poured some wine, flicked on the telly - and there was a show on Italian cheeses - serendipity  :)
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Offline DeejayDebi

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Re: Ideas for preserving mozzarella?
« Reply #10 on: March 14, 2012, 07:38:10 PM »
Heather -
when smoking cheese keep the temperatures as low as posible I use a few lit pieces lit of charcoal and a few wood chips nothing more. I also go by color. Creamy brown on a mozzarella is nice. Let it sit over night to meld the smoke and flavor an it is nice. Kind of nasty right off the smoker I think. If you wrap it tightly for a few days the smoke will really penetrate the cheese.

Another nice mozzarella is made into little balls like boccinchini, aged for a few days in the cave and smoked. It's called Scamorza Affumicata. I like them bite sized to thrown into my salads. wonderful with a grilled chicken salad or a nice grilled salmon.

Any mozzarella needs to ages for a few days to smoke well. To wet and it doesn't absorb the smoke well.

Offline curdgirl

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Re: Ideas for preserving mozzarella?
« Reply #11 on: March 15, 2012, 11:44:46 AM »
Debi, the assistant cheesemaker where I help out tried smoking some mozza the other week, but he brined it over night before hand - he said it wasn't totally successful as was too salty. So maybe he can try ageing for a few days then smoking (any particular temp for it to be ageing at?). They do smoke brie there and it's very nice.

Since I'm doing this at home, and don't have access to a smoker, I guess I'll have to skip the smoking part. I guess I'll need to read up on provolone and see if that's an option for me. If you have any tips please let me know.

BTW, MC at the dairy was showing me utube clips today of traditional Polish mountain cheese making - which is smoked. Can't recall the name of it but they were in fantastic shapes!

Thank you for your help.
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Offline DeejayDebi

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Re: Ideas for preserving mozzarella?
« Reply #12 on: March 15, 2012, 04:39:31 PM »
As for aging mozzarella keep it high around 50 to 60F degrees for up to 4 days then smoke it at less than 80F degrees. You can smoke cheese in a grill using wood chips in a clean tin can. Doesn't have to be a smoker. Have have smoked in a cardboard box but I won't go there someone here caught his box on fire - not good!  :-\

Here's a pretty basic provalone recipe

Provolone
Ingredients

1 US gallon Cow's Milk.
Optional: Calcium Chloride if using store bought pasteurized milk, amount as per manufacturers directions or your experience.
Thermophilic starter of your choice, amount as per directions or your experience, (normally ~ 1/8 teaspoon per 1 US gallon).
Lipase powder of your choice, amount as per directions or your experience, (normally ~ 1/4 teaspoon per 1 US gallon).
Rennet, amount as per package directions or your experience, diluted in 1/4 cup cool unchlorinated water.
Salt for direct dry salting for brine.
pH papers or meter.
Makes ~1 pound cheese.

Directions

1. Pour milk into stockpot (vat) in double boiler on stove or directly on lowest heater element.
2. Heat milk slowly to 30-36°C/86-97°F, stir slowly so doesn't catch or have cold areas.
3. Optionally whisk in diluted Calcium Chloride if using pasteurized milk.
4. Whisk in Thermophilic Starter Culture, cover and allow milk to ripen for ~30-60 minutes, pH should be above 6.0.
5. Whisk in Lipase, cover and let sit for ~10 minutes.
6. Whisk in diluted rennet, cover and set aside for curd to form.
7. After ~40 minutes, check for Clean Curd Break, if not obtained, cover and check again in another 10-20 minutes.
8. When clean break obtained, Cut Curd into 1 cm/3/8 inch cubes then let cut curd rest for ~10 minutes.
9. Slowly heat and occasionally stir cut curds to 62°C/144°F @ 1°C/2°F every 5 minutes, should take 45 minutes. Let sit for ~15 minutes to allow cut curds to settle.
10. Ladle cut curds into colander, place colander over stockpot with cut curds, cover colander, and let curds sit ~30 minutes @ 41°C / 105°F.
11. Dip a small piece of curd into 77-82°C / 170-180°F water and perform stretch test. If not smooth and shiny stretch, try again at ~15 minute intervals (can take up to 2 hours).
12. Once curds are ready (pH 5.0-5.3), cut into ~2 cm /1 inch slices and place in hot water.
13. Let sit in hot water until enture mass stretches easily.
14. Remove large mass from hot water and stretch curd forming it into a large ball, then form ball into a jug shaped cheese with thumb hole at top and pulling cheese up from sides and kneading it into hole on top. If curd cools too much, place back in hot water for few seconds as required.
15. When cheese is shiny, place into bowl of ice water to quench.
16. Immerse cheese in saturated brine for 2 hours.
17. Age cheese at ~10°C / ~50°F and 85% humidity for 3 weeks, turn occasionally.
18. Age cheese at ~4°C / ~40°F and 85% humidity for 3 weeks, for 2-12 months depending on desired sharpness.