Say “Cheese!”

Posted: 06/10/2014 in Uncategorized
Tags: , , , , , , , , ,

HOLY HELL!!

Why didn’t anyone tell me that I haven’t written about vegan artisan cheese yet??!!

I learned how to make some different vegan cheeses through fermentation processes a little bit ago for farm to table dinners.  There was a sharp cheddar, mozzarella, parmesan, cream cheese & soft Gruyère I played with.  Today we’re going to touch base on the soft Gruyère, considering it was my favorite blend(plus it was one of the tastier & complex-flavored recipes).

There’s a lot of work to put into this.  Well, not really.  It’s more just cognizance of time.  It’s really fun to make this kind of stuff because the time sensitivity lends to the sharpness of the product.  Usually the longer you let this culture in room temperature environments, the sharper the flavor will get.

First, though, we’ve got to make rejuvelac.  This will be your base for many of the vegan cheeses.

Rejuvelac is a cool little liquid that aids digestion with good bacteria & enzymes.  It is really handy when it comes to making anything like vegan yogurt, sauces, or even just drink it as a great dietary staple(don’t drink a ton of it, rejuvelac isn’t necessarily something you want to chug.  Start with a shot a day if you want to go that route).

Rejuvelac is made by sprouting some grains & then soaking those grains in some water.  More specifically, you soak a 1/2C grain(I use quinoa or brown rice) in a cheesecloth covered bowl for most of a first day(about ten hours), drain that, & add new water.  You only need to get the grains moist, don’t over-saturate them.

You’ll want to rinse them once a day for three days.  This prevents harmful bacteria from coming into play.  Just make sure to keep the grains saturated to a degree.  They should start sprouting by that third day.

From there, you can drain, rinse, & add four cups of water in with the grain.  Cover that with the cheesecloth and forget about it for three days.  The water will get a kind of cloudy color.  Retain the water–that is your rejuvelac.  You can use the sprouted grains to make a second batch by adding some more water & letting that sit for a day, but that is about it for them.  Just throw them into a compost pit at that point.

You’re going to want to soak about three cups of raw cashews for six hours.  This is good for any cashew-based cheese recipe because it will make the cashews much more smooth when you process them.  After they’ve soaked for that long, drain, rinse, & then put them in a food processor.

Preferably your own food processor.

Add 1/3C of warmed coconut oil, 1t sea salt, 1/3C coconut oil warmed up a bit so it’s liquid, 2T miso(I use white miso a lot with these types of recipes), 3T nutritional yeast, & a pinch of agar agar to the processor.  Dump in about 3/4C of the rejuvelac you made successfully & blend it all together until it is soft & velvety(don’t you love the sound of velvety vegan cheese?).  Add salt to taste, but be very light with it-the flavor will develop over the next day.

Put the mixture into a glass or ceramic bowl, cover, & forget about it for about twenty-four hours in a room temperature area.  No, seriously.  This is where the cool culturing thing happens.

After that time span, the Gruyère should be nearly done.  Put it in the refrigerator & let it chill.  It should kind of solidify, but not too much.  It will maintain some spreadability.

This stuff is awesome on bagels or on some sourdough toast.  Sorry I don’t have much for pictures on this, I’ve made it a few times & it’s gone over tremendously well.  Tell you what–we’ll do something different:  I’ll post some pictures of the pups!

Okay, that’s not really so different, but they are cute, so take that.

He always looks happily in some sort of trouble.

He always looks happily in some sort of trouble.

Pups in a ball!!!!

Pups in a ball!!!!

They put on a good front, but they really do love each other.

They put on a good front, but they really do love each other.

In any case, this is a short post just to get the cheese recipe out there.  I’ve got another post coming up fast with a food demo I did for Jacksonville Magazine.  I made some broccoli sunflower pesto for the event & it went over really well.  Well, it went over really well for the #NachoBar as well a few weeks back.  So yummy.

That's the pesto on top.  Not the brussels sprouts, but the other green stuff.

That’s the pesto on top. Not the brussels sprouts, but the other green stuff.

Time to run, enjoy the recipe!!

 

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