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Monterey Jack Cheese Recipe
Another American favorite named after the town it was invented on the west coast. Harder versions have also become popular but this recipe is for the standard semi-hard cheese now massively popular today.
- 2 Gallons Whole Milk
- 1/2 tspn tspn MA4001/4002 mesophilic culture
- 10 drops of double-strength Rennet (animal or vegetable)
- 1 tspn Calcium Chloride for cheese making
- 1 and 1/2 tablespoons Cheese Salt
Sanitize All Equipment!
- Heat milk slowly to 85°F (30°C). Add tspn MA4001/4002 mesophilic culture culture to surface, allowing to rehydrate for 1 minute then stir gently through milk. Dilute calcium chloride in ¼ cup of water and stir gently through milk.
- Maintain temperature of 85°F/30°C for 30 minutes, cover pan and leave milk to ripen.
- Dilute rennet in ¼ cup of water and add to milk, stir from top to bottom for 1 minute.
- Re-cover, maintain temperature and let curds set for further 30-40 minutes (until you achieve a clean break).
- Cut the curd into ½ inch cubes and leave for further 20 minutes.
- Very slowly heat the curds back up to 102°F/39°C, stirring gently every 2 minutes to prevent matting.
- Keeping curd at 102°F/39°C, drain off whey to the top level of the curd. Leave curd covered and unstirred for a further 30 minutes.
- Line a colander with a cheese cloth and ladle in the curds and drain.
- Add 1½ tablespoons salt and mix through curd. Cover curd with cheese cloth edges and place in cheese press.
- Press lightly using 5lb pressure for 10 minutes. Undress cheese, turn over, redress and press again at 10lb of pressure overnight or for 10 hours.
- Remove cheese from cheese cloth, gently pat dry and allow to air dry on a draining mat for 24 hours (turning once after 12 hours).
- Wax the cheese and age in a cool (50°F/10°C approx) place away from drafts. A small wine fridge or drawer in your main fridge is perfect. Store for 2-4 months. Leave longer if you prefer a stronger, sharper flavor.