I've made mozzarella cheese today! It's very tasty and although there were a few moments of lip biting, all in all it is fool proof. I read through the directions, gathered my pots and measuring things, and just had a feeling I would botch it up. (It's been one of those weeks in which you wonder if you're going to come out the other side in one piece, you know?). Well then, this kit comes with everything except the milk and although you really could just get buy with the rennet tablets and citric acid, as a first time cheese maker it seemed comforting to know it was all there. It is important to purchase milk locally to ensure that it has not been "ultra pasteurized" (which is heated to very high temperatures so that it will ship long distances and have a longer shelf life).
The milk is heated to 90 degrees F which concerned me because I had no clue about how to adjust for high altitude (water boils at a lower temperature at high altitudes). So I heated the milk to 92 degrees using the little dairy thermometer that comes with the kit. Who knows if this was at all necessary? Not me. More lip biting came when I discovered that I had neglected to stir the citric acid solution in with the milk as it heated per the directions. I added the rennet and wondered, "Now just when do you add that citric acid?" Read the directions again and hastily dumped in the citric acid. At any rate after the rennet is stirred in "with an up and down motion" (?) the pot is covered and left for about 5 minutes. You should be able to see the formed curd and the clear whey.
There was some more lip biting because it seemed from the little recipe booklet that the curd really should have been more solid at this point. But, I persevered and stirred the curds some more, then drained the whey off. I put them in hot water (the curds are supposed to be heated to 135 degrees F at this point - in the microwave or in hot water), drained them again and pulled and stretched them like taffy for a few minutes. It really did work even with all my goofs and guesswork.
Of course, we had to try it right away so here it is melted on crackers with sun dried tomatoes.
It was actually very easy! Hmm, mozzarella prosciutto rolls, mozzarrella rolled in herbs, mozzarella and peppers. Mozzarella for Christmas...the possibilities are endless.