Cheese Twins Blog
What is Burrata?
Making Mozzarella is a lot of fun and making Burrata is just a few more steps. Burrata is a sheet of mozzarella filled with mozzarella strips that have been drenched in cream. Yeah. It's awesome.
Where can I get the ingredients?
If you don't have citric acid and rennet, a quick purchase from your local cheese shop or online can get you the few pinches that you need. Below is a recipe and list of ingredients and equipment! While most kits advertise 30 minutes, give your self an hour to make your cheese and a leisurely pace.
Below is what a mozzarella kit typically looks like:
We are so lucky to live in California, home to some of the country’s newest (and oldest) cheesemaking companies making waves in the artisan cheese world. Below are a few of our favorites we brought to KTLA:
Laura chenel, Original Medallion
Laura Chenel makes a variety of fresh goat cheese. Yes, a variety. Fresh goat cheese can be made to be dry and crumbly or moist and smooth. The difference isn’t fat, it’s moisture. Moisture is retained (or evacuated) during draining of the curds.
There are many different ways moisture loss can be controlled. This includes control of drain time, size and quantity of perforations in mould (or knit size of the cloth) and pH. A lower pH lowers the protein matrices' ability to hold water.
We love the higher moisture, velvety goat cheeses (like Laura Chenel's Chef Chevre), because it is like eating gelato, but a drier, more acidic (and slightly astringent) goat cheese is the perfect chevre-type to provoke an appetite. Today we have Laura Chenel’s Medallions (creamy, smooth).
The only problem with fresh goat cheese is that it can be a challenge to create a clean presentation. Despite its sticky appearance though, fresh chèvre is very easy to roll and shape. Our favorite hack is to drop the chèvre into syran wrap, roll into a log, then slice into coins (or half coins, see above) with a cheese wire. If you like to season your cheese, you can roll the log through herbs and spices before slicing!
Bellwether Farms makes some of the nation’s best aged (Award winning Pepato and Blackstone), but it also makes amazing Ricotta. If you like $8 toast and don’t want to spend the money, get some of this ricotta and whip it up with some olive oil, salt and lemon juice. If you are serving it with pancakes or waffles, add some cream and a little sugar. Whipped Ricotta also makes a great game day dip! (See above)
Bellwether also makes Crescenza, one of the creamiest cheeses on the market. Great for adding goeyness to an omelette or a grilled cheese.
Wm cofield and FiscaliNi
Two extraordinary Clothbound Cheddars come from California. WmCofield Cheese is situated in Sonoma Co. and schooled in British clothbound cheesemaking. They have a retail store at their cheesemaking and aging facility in Sebastopol's Barlow.
Fiscalini Cheese is located in Modesto, two areas well know for its wine growing; and soon, its cheese. We love to nibble on these cheddars with pink lady apples, but more fun is making cheddar cheese crisps! Grate, pile very very lightly on parchment paper, and bake for 8-10 minutes at 400 degrees F. For more details and pictures, check out our Instagram: @thecheesetwins.
Cheddar crisps can be intense, so they are a perfect complement for foods lacking acidity and/or salt (salads, ice cream, mac n' cheese, etc).
Point reyes farmstead cheese co
From fudge-like and tangy to smooth and sweet, Pt. Reyes Farmstead makes a variety of blue cheeses for every occasion. We love to pair these cheeses with pear, apple, apricot and fig as well as hazelnuts, walnuts and pine nuts. In short, these blue cheeses are perfect for snacking and adding complexity to a delicious salad. On top of all that, they also make a delicate, aged cow milk cheese, Toma, and one of our favorite mozzarella.
Nicasio valley Cheese Co
Located in the dreamy landscape of Marin County’s Nicasio Valley, Nicasio’s dairy cows roam expansive pastures between two short milkings a day. NVCC makes two of our favorite strong cheeses: Nicasio Square and San Geronimo! The former is a world class grilled cheese cheese, the latter designed for Raclette. Yes, these cheeses are pungent, soft and creamy - the perfect pair for melting over potatoes, or...anything!
Central Coast CreamEry
Life is short and that is why you should consider taking a drive up California’s central coast to visit one of the Nation's best cheesemaking companies, Central Coast Creamery. Today, we tasted the award winning Ewereka, a sheep milk cheese. If there ever a cheese to eat on its own, this is it. Also fantastic for grating over pasta or Mac n cheese.
The plate/board ought to bring another story to the cheese flight and just as much craftsmanship. Boos boards check both boxes. We also like to plate using slate, which can give a stunning contrast to sometimes subtle cheese colors.
Only one way to get such a clean cut with fresh chèvre and crumbly blue cheeses - the wire. That's because adhesive, crumbly cheeses stick to knife blades. To minimize drag and stick, use a wire. You can find these at some kitchen outlets. We got ours from Formaticum!
Some people just want melted cheese...all the time. This cool little gadget is made by Boska. Light some tea candles and you are set. The tray also works on bbq grills, which makes it perfect for sliding cheese onto vegetables and burgers.
In case you missed the show, check it out Below!
Michael and I had a blast showing ~70 cheese lovers how to step up their cheese melting game at California Artisan Cheese Fest 2018. If you didn't make it to our class, there's always next year! Below are the recipes for the grilled cheese and mac n' cheese we prepared, in case you feel like spoiling yourself or your loved ones. If you do make any of the recipes, we'd love to see how they turned out! Shout us out on instagram @thecheesetwins #cheesetwins : )
California italian Grilled cheese
Salad: Shave fennel and apple with a mandolin. Toss salad ingredients and top with Estero Gold shaved with a potato peeler for large, elegant shavings. Plate with grilled cheese.
mac n' cheese
Pasta ShellsChop cauliflower into florets. Boil with pasta shells until pasta is al dente. Pull pasta from heat and drain. Toss with butter to prevent sticking.
Mac & Cheese
Making a savory tarte with Phyllo dough is probably the easiest thing you will ever do in the kitchen and takes little time to prep, cook and serve. Unless you plan on making the Phyllo dough from scratch, the recipe is virtually fool proof and guaranteed to dazzle (and taste delicious).
Step 1: Prepare the Phyllo Dough
Thaw phyllo dough in refrigerator the night before you plan to use it.
Pre-heat oven to 375°F.
Roll out on parchment paper in a baking sheet. Using a pairing knife, create the puff edges of the tarte by scoring a rectangle in the phyllo dough 1-2" from the perimeter. Score the new tarte perimeter to create an edge pattern (short diagonal cuts look great).
To prevent the tarte interior from puffing during baking, use a fork to poke holes throughout the interior (unlike the scoring, you will poke all the way through the dough).
Step 2: Add the toppings
Step 3: Bake & Prepare Yogurt sauce
Bake for 20 minutes at 375°F. Depending on your oven, you may want to bake for shorter or longer to ensure tarte cooks through and develops a nice browning.
While baking, prepare the yogurt sauce by filling a ramiken with yogurt, add lime and salt to taste. Simple. Add fresh dill to give an extra bump of flavor (idea: if you like dill, you can also substitute the Chevoo used in this recipe with Chevoo's goat cheese marinated in California Dill Pollen & Garlic, yum).
Remove from oven and serve immediately.
If you like this recipe, follow us on social media to get more ideas!
suggested wine pairing
Prepare Potatoes and Onions:
Everytime we are near Downtown LA, we visit Grand Central Market. 39 vendors of diverse backgrounds produce an enormous variety of food, grab-and-go or sit-down, breakfast, lunch and dinner.
Our favorite stop is DTLA Cheese and Kitchen. Listed as one of “7 super LA cheese shops” by the LA Times, the cheese shop is run by the extraordinary Clarke sisters, Lydia and Marnie (who are also 3rd generation dairy purveyors), and Chef Reed Herrick.
Top 3 reasons we love this cheese shop:
The cheese shop has a traditional layout, with a cool, funky spirit. Stop by for a meal or a wedge of cheese!
Have some friends coming over this holiday season and want to impress them without exerting too much effort - Baked Brie takes three simple steps!
Can you cut all cheese with single knife? Of course you can, but it won’t always be pretty! In this article, you will learn how and when to use our three favorite cutting tools for delivering a professional cheeseboard. They’re easy to use, affordable, lightweight, and can bring huge returns on time and presentation.
The first time I saw the wire in action was in a fromagerie near Lyon. A customer requested a slice of cheese from a cheese log deep in the deli case. Instead of removing the heavy log of cheese from the depths of the deli case, the monger leaned in with a small harp, sliced through the end of the log and caught the small wedge of cheese in paper, which she quickly wrapped, labeled and sold. The wire was cleaned in an instant and the next customer was called forward. Nothing in France impressed me more than this cheese monger’s ease and finesse. It wasn’t anything fancy or expensive - just a simple tool and technique.
Short, Long Knife
If you are leaning in to cut with a wire, you need this blade. It has little drag, like the wire, but more muscle to offer a clean, effortless cut. I love this tool, so much that I misuse it. I find myself trying to cut hard cheese with it, because I find I just don’t want to switch knives.
Unless you are cutting enormous wheels of cheese, a kitchen knife is all the firepower you will need for getting the job done. The complexity with aged cheese cutting lies mainly in what shape you choose to cut. Aged cheese is often times cut into bars and sometimes triangular wedges. In many cheese shops, cheese mongers use wires for cutting aged cheese because it’s faster (they just have plenty of spare wires around to replace those which break).NOTE: If cutting a granular cheese, like Parmigiano Reggiano and Grana Padano, you may want to just break them down into chunks. Clean cuts for these cheeses can bristle the Italians.
I love to forage for wild mushrooms and mountains of Utah are one of my favorite places to search for wild Porcini. On a recent trip to Salt Lake City, Certified Cheese Professional, Vanessa Chang, and I searched the Uinta Mountains for our favorite mushroom. While we did not find a King Bolete (Boletus Edulis, or Porcini), we did stumble across another edible mushroom akin to the King, Queen Bolete.
A few hours later, we hooked up with our friend, Chef Viet Pham, who had fired up his Kudu Grill to roast some meat, vegetables, and baguette to make the ultimate wild mushroom and Quicke’s Cheddar sandwich. Check out our video below for the whole story in <1 minute!
Not enough time in the day to make a tasty meal? Our Caprese Salad for Beginners can be made in under a minute. Check out our youtube video below on how to up your game for fast food! Click here to like our video or subscribe to our youtube channel for more cheese tips and travel log adventures!
Michael & Charlie Kalish are international cheese experts and winners of Season 7 of Food Network's Great Food Truck Race.