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December 30, 2010

"Rawcotta" Cheese - Fermented

If you have some extra time, this cheese is definitely worth trying. This Basic "Ricotta" or Creamed Cheese can be modified in so many ways, to create cheese that is sweet or savory, to tart or zippy.Use your favorite herbs and spices to create your own sensational blend. I found this great recipe for a seasoned cheese below, with a great photo tutorial here, and modified it to fit my own personal taste.

 Basic "Rawcotta" or Starter Cheese
2 cups raw macadamia nuts
2 Tbsp pine nuts (I added this)
water to cover nuts in blender
pinch of sea salt


Seasoned "Rawcotta" Cheese
1 batch of Basic "Rawcotta"/Creamed Cheese (above)
1 Tbsp brown rice miso (optional)
1 Tbsp nutritional yeast (optional)
2 Tbsp fresh fresh parsley, chopped (+ whatever herbs you like)
2 Tbsp basil, finely chopped
1/2 small red onion, chopped
1 clove garlic, crushed (or more per taste)
dash Ume plum vinegar (optional - very salty)

Preparation for Starter Cheese
Blend macadamia nuts with only enough water to cover and mix until smooth and creamy.  Sit a colander or sieve over a large bowl. Place cheese mixture into a mesh bag, or wrap in cheese cloth. Fold the bag or cheese cloth over and set into colander. Place a cake plate on top of the wrapped cheese. Add a weight on top of this plate, pressing down on the cheese and cover with a towel. Sit in a warm, dry area. (I use a gallon bottle of water as my weight). If my dehydrator is  running, I place it on top of that.

If you are in a rush, you can use the cheese right away as is, or season it, but it tastes much better fermented about 24 to 48 hours. Taste after 24 hours. The longer you ferment, the more sour it will be.

After fermenting, remove the cheese from the wrapping, place in a bowl, and refrigerate for several hours to a day.  It is now ready for you to doctor up however you like, or add the ingredients for the  Seasoned "Rawcotta" Cheese listed above. For best results, chill after seasoning for several hours, to let the flavors permeate the cheese.

Other recipes you can make with different variations of this cheese are, Eggplant and Spinach ParmesanEggplant Casserawl, Lasagna, Portobello Mushroom Pizza, etc.

Note: For a sweet creamed cheese, use the Basic Cheese Recipe above and sweeten with honey, dates or agave. Add nuts, cinnamon and/or raisins. Yummm!


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