Around New Years Eve, I made two nut based cheeses. First the cashew goats cheese which I had already tried at Johannas house and loved. I used muslin because the woman at spotlight told me to and also had very little come out when wrapped in the cheesecloth.
Pepper Crusted Goats Cheese from Vegetarian Times
3/4 cup raw cashews
6 Tbs. canola oil
1/4 cup lemon juice
1 Tbs. tahini
1 1/4 tsp. salt
1 tsp. cracked black peppercorns or coarsely ground black pepper
1. Place cashews in large bowl; cover with 3 inches water. Soak overnight.
2. Drain liquid, rinse cashews under cold water, and drain again. Purée cashews, oil, lemon juice, tahini, salt, and 2 Tbs. water in food processor 6 minutes, or until smooth and creamy.
3. Place large strainer over bowl, and line with triple layer of cheesecloth. Spoon cashew mixture into cheesecloth. Fold sides of cloth over cheese, and form into 6-inch-long oval loaf. Twist ends of cloth and secure with rubber bands. Set in strainer over bowl, and let stand 12 hours at room temperature. Discard excess liquid. Chill.
4. Preheat oven to 200°F. Line baking sheet with parchment paper. Unwrap cheese, and scrape into 7-inch-long log on cheesecloth. Rewrap, and twist ends to secure. Place on prepared baking sheet. Bake 35 minutes, or until cheese becomes set on outside but still soft, turning occasionally. Cool, and chill.
5. Unwrap cheese. Sprinkle with peppercorns, pressing to adhere.
I copied Johanna and used this in a quinoa salad. The salad itself was a bit boring but the 'goats cheese' made such a tasty addition. Its got a lovely tangy, salty flavour.
Next I made the:
Almond Feta but without the herb oil, also from vegetarian times
- 1 cup whole blanched almonds
- 1/4 cup lemon juice
- 3 Tbs. plus 1/4 cup olive oil, divided
- 1 clove garlic, peeled
- 1 1/4 tsp. salt
- 1 Tbs. fresh thyme leaves (left this out)
- 1 tsp. fresh rosemary leaves (also left this out)
- 1. Place almonds in medium bowl, and cover with 3 inches cold water. Let soak 24 hours. Drain soaking liquid, rinse almonds under cold running water, and drain again.2. Purée almonds, lemon juice, 3 Tbs. oil, garlic, salt, and 1/2 cup cold water in food processor 6 minutes, or until very smooth and creamy.3. Place large strainer over bowl, and line with triple layer of cheesecloth. Spoon almond mixture into cheesecloth. Bring corners and sides of cloth together, and twist around cheese, forming into orange-size ball and squeezing to help extract moisture. Secure with rubber band or kitchen twine. Chill 12 hours, or overnight. Discard excess liquid.4. Preheat oven to 200°F. Line baking sheet with parchment paper. Unwrap cheese (it will be soft), and transfer from cheesecloth to prepared baking sheet. Flatten to form 6-inch round about 3/4-inch thick. Bake 40 minutes, or until top is slightly firm. Cool, then chill. (Cheese can be made up to this point 2 days ahead; keep refrigerated.)5. Combine remaining 1/4 cup oil, thyme, and rosemary in small saucepan. Warm oil over medium-low heat 2 minutes, or until very hot but not simmering. Cool to room temperature. Drizzle herb oil over cheese just before serving. I skipped this part.
I enjoyed the garlic in this one and thought it was tasty enough without the herb oil. However, I took half of it to a new years eve party and when paired with crackers with a lot of salt/flavour you could barely taste it. So I recommend adding the herb oil. I can't choose a favourite either, as they are both tasty in their own ways. I will certainly continue experimenting with more nut based cheeses. What are your favourite recipes?