Each month we feature a culinary write-up from one of our resident culinary and hospitality experts!
Have you ever wanted to make your own fresh mozzarella? Well, Restaurant Associates Executive Chef Jayson Brown at Cafe 57 at Hearst in New York City is telling you how:
One of my favorite things is making fresh mozzarella cheese. Once you have the cheese curd it’s very simple. To purchase curd, try your local Italian Deli or any place that sells fresh mozzarella. Bring 1.5 gallons of water to a boil and add enough kosher or sea salt to make the water as salty as sea water. Remove the water from the heat and set aside. Using a bowl large enough to hold the cheese curd and cover it with water, break the curd into pieces about the size of a quarter. When the water drops to about 180 degrees pour enough over the curd to cover it completely. With a wooden spoon, start folding the curd in the bowl until it starts to melt together.
Then, start stretching the cheese with the spoon until its smooth. If the water in the bowl is not hot enough, add more from the pot. When the cheese is smooth, break off pieces and form into balls like pizza dough then submerge it in cold water to set.
Mozzarella di Bufala is made from the milk of water buffalo raised in designated areas of Lazio and Campania in Italy and holds a PDO (protected designation of origin) under the European Union. Mozzarella fior di latte is made from cow’s milk that can be from anywhere in the world. Both can be stored for up to a week in salted water under refrigeration.
“Mozzare” means “to cut” in a Neapolitan dialect of Italian spoken in Campania. Mozzarella got its name from the method of working the cheese, then cutting a piece off to form the individual ball.
Why make fresh mozzarella when you can buy it? Taste it while it’s still warm and you’ll have your answer