Prep 40 mins
Cook 0 mins
I have been wanting to make poutine since discovering a recipe for this very Canadian of dishes on 'Zaar. Alas, there are no cheese factories near me and so really fresh curds, as called for, are not available. This set me to hunting down a recipe for curds and I came across this one on the internet. It has also solved a life-long mystery for me... at last I know what Miss Muffet was eating!
- 12 cups fresh water (3 quarts)
- 6 cups instant dry milk powder
- 1 -1 1⁄2 cup white vinegar
- 1⁄2 teaspoon salt
- Heat the water in a very large pot over low heat.
- Stir in the dry milk powder as the water heats.
- Heat it gently until it is very hot but not boiling.
- Stir in about a cup of vinegar.
- Turn off the heat and allow the mixture to sit for about 10 minutes - don't skip this part because the mixture has to sit for the milk to have a chance to curdle.
- After 10 minutes there should be a big clump of white cheese curd in the middle of a pool of clear amber liquid.
- If the liquid is still milky, then you need to add more vinegar to finish curdling the milk.
- Add a couple of spoonfuls of vinegar at a time and stir gently so that more of the milk will curdle and clump up.
- Continue until all of the milk is curdled into curds, and the liquid (the whey) is clear.
- Line a strainer or collander with a lightly damp thin cotton cloth.
- Carefully pour the big pot of curds and whey into the strainer and let all of the whey strain off.
- Run a little cold water over the curds to cool them down, and to rinse out all of the whey.
- Squeeze the curds with your fingers to break them up, and rinse them thoroughly.
- Gather up the cloth around the curds and squeeze to remove as much of the moisture as you can - the curds should be quite dry.
- Transfer the cheese curds to a bowl or container and stir in the salt.
At best, this recipe yields a fresh cheese like ricotta or paneer. I have made this many times, and it's very nice as a spread or (depending on how much you drain it) added into other dishes.
But what we serve on poutine is CHEDDAR curds, which are indeed curdled, but they are then cultured and "coddled" at a warm temperature to develop the characteristic "squeaky" texture of cheddar curds.
We can't get kosher poutine here, so I've been known to use chopped-up mozzarella cheese strings. I know it's not the real thing, but it's far closer than what you're going to get using this recipe.
Definitely not even close to cheese curds! I would only suggest doing this if there is no other possible way on earth you could get cheese curds. But please on behave all Canadians and Poutine lovers alike, do not base your opinion of poutine, using these curds. It is just not the same! But if it is all you have, this is really neat and quick!