Wednesday, July 2, 2014

Fresh Mozzarella at Home (Recipe)

If you want to surprise your guests with a unique treat that doubles as a conversation piece, look no further than homemade fresh mozzarella.  The return on your time and effort is particularly high here—the warm, milky, slightly sweet cheese is sure to please and amaze. All you need is mozzarella curd, water, salt, and disposable gloves (to protect your hands from the heat).
You may be scratching your head right now, trying to recall the last time you saw fresh mozzarella curd. Indeed not a common sight, but our friends at Fulper Family Creamery carry it. Email them at to order and plan delivery. For a less local curd try Whole Foods.
Start by working 1 lb of curd at the time. You may have to order a larger amount but it keeps well in the refrigerator. And, no, it doesn't freeze well.
Fresh Mozzarella
Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil then take it off the stove. Place the curds in a bowl and pour the hot water on them. Warm the curds, stir slowly as the curds warm, but try not to break them up too much. Put on a double layer of rubber gloves and fold the curds over on themselves a few times, stretching the curds. The curds need to reach 135F in order to stretch properly. Sprinkle the salt over the cheese and squish it with your fingers to incorporate. Using both hands, stretch and fold the curds repeatedly. It will start to tighten, become firm, and take on a glossy sheen. When this happens, you are ready to shape the mozzarella. Make one large ball, or a few smaller balls. Try not to overwork the mozzarella.
Using and Storing Your Mozzarella: The mozzarella is best when used immediately, second best if used within 24 hours, but can be kept refrigerated for a week. To refrigerate, place the mozzarella in a small container. Mix a teaspoon of salt with a cup of cool water mixed with some milk  and pour this over the mozzarella. Cover and refrigerate.

You can buy fresh mozzarella from Tre Piani and Fulper's Family Creamery at the Princeton Forrestal Village Farmers Market. 

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