Anyway, it's one thing to boast about book cracking, and a whole 'nother thing to get crackin' in the kitchen and put a book through its paces. Miyoko Schinner's new book Artisan Vegan Cheese is so razzle dazzling, it inspired me to get busy in the kitchen even before the book ding-donged the doorbell on my front porch (you can see a bunch of the recipes via Amazon's "search inside" link on their website).
|This is August's stack, and that's Vegan Diner hiding up at the top.|
I've only had this book for a few weeks, and yet I've already made five successful recipes and hope to work my way through all of Miyoko's cheeses, and then back again. I need to pace myself tho, 'cuz cashews are spendy on the budget and spendy on the belly. Actually, Miyoko's cheeses are so good, for the first time in 22 years, I'm reminded of my old cow cheese habit.
While there's a bit of a learning curve to the techniques (especially on making them pretty--mine all look like the inside of a Pyrex bowl), Miyoko is super available via her blog and on a dedicated thread over at the PPK. She's also featured in this month's Veg News with new improved versions of some of the varieties in the book. All good stuff.
So far I've made three cheeses, quinoa rejuvelac and cashew yogurt. Most of the cultured cheeses are made tasty with the rejuvelac and yogurt, but Miyoko's instructions are simple, easy and spot-on. I especially recommend using quinoa for the rejuvelac (instead of a different grain), because it sprouts and ferments quickly.
|Most of the recipes use about 2 cups of cashews and many require rejuvelac and/or yogurt.|
The first cheese I made was the Sharp Cheddar. This cheese is cultured for a few days and then thickened over heat and refrigerated to age. If you can wait. Most of mine was gone before I even had a chance to cook it. As a raw cheese, it was great dolloped onto bowls of rice and beans, and awesome off of the finger, too. I was a bit disappointed with the texture after I'd cooked it, but Miyoko addresses this particular issue, and the texture does not compromise the flavor one bit. I'd love to taste this one again after it's been aged for a few months in the fridge, but I'm not sure I'll be able to stop eating it long enough to make that happen.
|This cheese may look like a slice of Tofurky, but OMG it's not.|
I also made a batch of Air Dried Cheddar, which I believe came out fucking awesome (sorry to be so technical). I've been eating this on local xgfx Happy Camper bread topped with salted and peppered fresh tomato slices. Please feed me this every day.
The last cheese I made was the Fresh Mozzarella. This was a particularly fast cheese to make, since not much culturing is required and forming the balls in water is cool! In fact, I was so excited to make the balls I didn't culture my cheese long enough, so mine lacked tang. Even so, I've been mashing mine up with salt, pepper, garlic and herbs and stuffing it into collard wraps with shredded beets, carrots and apples. Very yum to the yum. Another keeper, and yes thank you, I know I'm a hippy.
- Title: Artisan Vegan Cheese
- Author: Miyoko Schinner
- Blog: The Vegan Manifesto
- Publisher: The Book Publishing Company
- Photos: Yes, with color
- Amazon Search Inside Link
- Focus: Nut based cultured cheese
- 5 Recipes to Intrigue: Air Dried Brie, Figs Stuffed with Lemon-Scented Chevre, Gruyere and Pear, Air Dried Gouda and Boursin
- XGFXness: The cheeses are all xgfx. The last three chapters include recipes for incorporating the cheeses into meals. Many of these are also xgfx or can be adapted.