Chris is one of the most interesting celebrities to contribute to our blog and we are very grateful. (See below for more info about him).
When he sent us this recipe from his resort in Laos, he wrote, “Here is an interesting cheese… A specialty from Lapland, the area in Sweden, located above the Polar Circle. I think you will enjoy this somewhat peculiar cheese.”
Homemade Coffee Cheese
By Chris-Kridakorn Odbratt
Coffee cheese was originally made from warm milk, straight from a reindeer and used in coffee as a kind of snack. Irresistible for a Northern Swede in general and a Tornedaling (border to Finland) in particular! (At least if they belong to the middle-aged generation with a plus sign …)
If you have no barn, or reindeer, use whole milk or preferably raw milk. I have to admit that here in SE Asia it is virtually impossible to buy raw milk (I will get some milking animals late 2017…), so pasteurized is OK, just NEVER use UHT (Ultra-High Temp).
2 liters of milk (2.114 quarts)
60 ml heavy cream (2 ounces)
2 tsp liquid rennet
Pour the milk and cream into a 3-liter (3 quart) saucepan.
Heat to lukewarm (99F or 37 C).
Lift off the pan and mix in rennet. Let stand for about 30-40 minutes until the liquid has solidified (curdled itself ).
Stir gently with a slotted spoon while you heat up the liquid to lukewarm again.
Then, steer the cheese from the edges toward the center of the pan.
When the cheese is gathered into a ball in the middle, heat the whole thing up to near boiling point – but it should not boil! Take the pan off the heat just before the whey boils.
Place the cheese in a fine mesh colander / large strainer / or in a cheese mold if you have one of those.
Press out as much whey as possible from the cheese. Set a weight and leave for a few hours so the last whey is pressed out and the cheese gets dry.
Preheat the oven to 200C (392F). Press the cheese into a well greased casserole dish – cheese should be a maximum of 3 cm (1 inch) thick. Bake the cheese in center of oven until browned.
The cheese can also be used without baking, but I think it will be much tastier to bake it.
If the edges become hard – wrap the warm cheese in aluminum foil afterwards so it softens.
Whey may be used as liquid to bake soft bread.
When the cheese has cooled – cut into small cubes or strips, put a pile in the coffee cup and fill the cup with fresh coffee. Stir and eat with a spoon …. enjoy the taste and the sound (sqeegee… kind of…).
If there is anything left – package well and freeze or make dessert with warm cloudberries or raspberry coulis.
Chris was born in Sweden, but, because of his father’s profession, he grew up in Pakistan, India, Egypt, Saudi Arabia, the former Yugoslavia and many other countries.
He is a renowned chef with 2 professorships – 1 in Thai Cooking from Thailand and 1 in Culinary Arts from India. For many years, he ran a restaurant and school for Thai cooking (Royal Thai School of Culinary Arts) and was the president of the Thai Chef’s Association. Many distinguished chefs came to his school, including former President Clinton’s chef from Camp David.
Now, he has his own resort and restaurant in the jungle of Laos – Ban Lao Pako Eco Lodge.