What to CookCheese

A Creamy, Tangy Cheese You Haven’t Tried (Yet)

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I don’t think there’s a problem that cheese can’t fix. (Unless you’re lactose-intolerant, and for that there’s still cashew cheese!) Stressed? Eat something melty between slices of toast. Celebrating? Whip out a wedge (with some champagne). Dish too spicy? Swirl in a dollop of creamy coolness. Looking to impress? Set up a killer cheese board. If If you're as obsessed with cheese as I am, then wait until you realize how magical it is to make your own.

See, it's practically sparkling.
See, it's practically sparkling. Photo by Rocky Luten

In her upcoming cookbook, Lifeway CEO Julie Smolyansky lays out an almost unbelievably easy method for using kefir to make a creamy, snackable cheese.

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“If cottage cheese and ricotta cheese had a love child, this would be it,” she writes. “Farmer cheese is a soft, unripened cheese that has had most of its moisture pressed out. I grew up eating it by the tub.”

When it comes to cheese sorcery making, it’s important to be patient. The majority of the process is hands-off, where the kefir drains and strains (with a short boil!) its way into cheese. After 48 hours, the kefir will transform from a creamy, milk-like liquid to a dense (yet still creamy!) cheese.

Your new homemade cheese will keep for up to a week in a sealed container in the fridge, ready for lasagnas and cheesecakes and pierogi, or any other problem life throws your way.

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Kefir Farmer Cheese

Kefir Farmer Cheese

Food52 Food52
Makes 1/2 cup
  • 1 cup organic plain whole-milk kefir
Go to Recipe

Share your favorite problem-solving cheeses below!

Automagic Spring Menu Maker!
Automagic Spring Menu Maker!

Tags: DIY Food, Books