Feta or Fetaki – a popular Greek cheese with its ancient history, Italian roots and, in a literal translation from the Italian language, meaning «a piece». If you love and appreciate the taste of real feta, you are probably already familiar with its composition on the package and with the cooking technology. Lets make homemade feta cheese! Of course, to repeat the whole technology is very difficult, minding the lack of sheeps milk in an urban settings, but to make something very similar, natural and definitely delicious - its easy!
1. For homemade feta we need at least one liter of slightly sour milk. «Slightly sour» means that the milk has pronounced sour smell, it is not recommended to eat, but the explicitly state of yogurt it is still «not reached». Such «intermediate» milk will give us a very gentle curdle mass, which is very similar in structure to the feta. If you specialy have bought fresh milk for making homemade feta cheese – leave it at room temperature for a while and let it sour. Pour the sour milk in a refractory mold, for example, in a transparent deep dish for the microwave. Optionally, add dried herbs to the milk and put it in a cold oven. Set the temperature to 180 degrees and the time for 1 hour.
2. Milk in the dish should not boil, so it is convenient to use transparent fire-resistant kitchenware and to monitor the condition of the milk from time to time. If it is about to boil – reduce the heat of the oven. After some time the milk will begin to separate the whey at the bottom and a condensed milk mass on the top. When the time expires, remove the dish from the oven and discard all the contents in a colander with cheesecloth (make 2-3 layers). Try to do everything carefully for not to break the structure of the whole compact mass. Put a colander under the slope for all the serum to pour out. Let the whey drain for about 15-20 minutes, without squeezing the cheesecloth or stirring the curdle mass.
3. Prepare the form (a round or rectangular plate) for forming feta, optionally cover it with cling film and put a half portion of salt on the bottom. Shift the separated mass in the form and tightly compact it by a spoon or an iron masher for mashed potatoes, pressing and leveling the whole mass, saving it from possible holes and irregularities.
4. Also sprinkle the top with salt, the taste of the cheese needs to be very salty.
5. If you want to cook feta with nuts – stick large pieces of nuts all over the surface of the mold.
6. Set the mold aside to chill at room temperature, and then put into the refrigerator, pouring it with some of the remaining whey on top.
7. After 6-8 hours the mass will eventually cool and compact, it will be very similar to the real feta cheese.
8. Cut into cubes or slices, just eat this cheese or prepare salads. Bon appétit!