This recipe comes from Home Cheese Making, written by our very own Cheese Queen, Ricki Carroll. It yields 2 pounds of crumbly cream cheese, drier than with other methods but perfect for cooking, salads, etc.
This is not a sweet cream cheese – it’s somewhat tangy and that makes it perfect for savory recipes. It’s closest substitute would be Farmer’s cheese.
I thought it would be a good idea to serve it in the main course and the salad as well. It worked out beautifully, so I have included both recipes below.
Cooked Curd Cream Cheese
2 quarts pasteurized light cream or half-and-half
1 packet direct-set mesophilic starter or 4 ounces prepared mesophilic starter
3 drops liquid rennet diluted in 1/3 cup cool, un-chlorinated water
1-2 quarts water
Cheese salt (optional)
1. Heat the cream to 86F.
Add the starter and mix thoroughly.
2. Add 1 teaspoon of the diluted rennet and stir gently with an up-and-down motion. Cover and let the cream set for 12-18 hours at a room temperature of at least 72F. A solid curd will form.
3. Heat the water enough to raise the temperature of the curd to 125F.
4. Pour the curd into a colander lined with butter muslin.
Tie the corners of the muslin into a knot and hang the bag to drain until it stops dripping.
5. When the bag stops draining, put the cheese in a bowl and add the salt and herbs to taste, if desired.
6. Store in the refrigerator for 1-2 weeks.
Yield: About 2 pounds
Bacon, Cream Cheese, Cheddar Chicken
From Julia’s Album
1 tablespoon olive oil
4 chicken breasts (use 4 thin chicken breasts, or use 2 large chicken breasts, sliced in half, horizontally)
salt and pepper
4 oz or 6 oz cream cheese (cold, refrigerated, and sliced into 8 slices) (I used a little over a pound of the cooked curd cream cheese I made, but next time I will use more of it because it was so delicious and because I didn’t need very much for the salad.)
8 bacon strips, cooked, chopped
1 cup shredded Cheddar cheese
Preheat the oven to 400F.
Grease the bottom of the casserole dish with olive oil. (I used a 10″ x 15″ casserole dish)
Add chicken breasts to the casserole dish. Note about chicken: use 4 thin chicken breasts, or use 2 large thick chicken breasts, sliced in half horizontally each to make 4 thin chicken breasts.
Sprinkle chicken breasts with salt and pepper.
Top with cream cheese. (I used a little over a pound of cream cheese for this.)
Top with chopped cooked bacon (drained from fat). (I cooked it in the oven.*)
Top with shredded Cheddar cheese.
Bake, uncovered, for about 20-30 minutes, until the chicken is cooked through. The cooking time will depend on the thickness of your chicken breasts.
*Bacon Cooked in the Oven
Line a cookie sheet with aluminum foil. Cover it with parchment paper. Lay out your bacon on top and bake at 400F for 20-25 minutes.
Savory Cooked Cream Cheese Salad
Cooked Cream Cheese
Mix cream cheese with herbs.
Sprinkle generously on salad.