Homemade Lemon Bag Cheese and Whole Wheat Pocket Bread

by Michelle on May 12, 2010

A few months ago I called, Danny Murphy, an old college friend. I am so glad that Danny and I have kept in contact all these years. During our conversation David Warda’s name came up and Danny said that in the late ’90s David had published a cookbook consisting of recipes from his Assyrian heritage. OH MY GOSH…what a small world! David and I were both working artists at the time we first met and 20 years later for us to meet again and in the food world is a coincidence that can not be ignored. I knew David would remember me so I gave him a call!

It was so much fun talking with David and he sent me a copy of his, now out-of-print, Assyrian Cookbook! I was thrilled beyond thrilled and could not wait to see his cookbook. I had a great time reading his family recipes and descriptions of the family picnics from areas that my own family had gathered for celebrations or a day at the lake. It brought back so many long forgotten memories. No matter where I live, my roots will always be in Michigan…ALWAYS!

I have wanted to try cheese making for a long time and David’s Lemon Bag Cheese was the perfect for me to begin my cheese making adventure! It’s so simple to make and with limited ingredients I was good to go! And being this week for HBinFive we were making Hearty Whole Wheat Bread I decided to make Whole Wheat Pita Bread and serve it with the Lemon Bag Cheese as our Sunday snack. The Bag Cheese and the Whole Wheat Pita was incredibly delicious! And I also make some Chicken Salad for a wonderful lunch of Chicken Pitas!

David has a new cookbook that is soon to be published “Recipe Bible: Crowd Pleasing Comfort Foods for all Occasions”. And he is presently working on a sequel to his first very successful cookbook, “Assyrian Cookery; Recipes that Outlasted a Civilization” by David Warda.

Lemon Bag Cheese
Recipe adapted from “Assyrian Cookery” by David Warda

Printed with Permission of my college buddy, David Warda

1 qt whole milk
1 qt light cream or half/half
Juice of 4-5 lemons
Salt to taste

1. Combine milk and cream in a saucepan. Gently heat mixture to 100 degrees.

2. Squeeze and strain juice from 4-5 lemons. Whisk the lemon juice into the warm milk and cream mixture. Remove pan from the heat and let mixture set for about 20 minutes.

3. Line a colander or strainer with several layers of dampened cheesecloth **See NOTE. Pour the curdled mixture into the lined colander. Gather together the four corners of the cheesecloth and tie into a knot. Push a long-handled wooden spoon under the knot and lay the spoon over a large bowl.

The cheese is ready when the whey has stopped dripping from the bag (about 2 hours). The collected whey can be used as the liquid in any bread recipe.

4. Remove the cheese from the bag and add salt to taste.

5. Store in a covered container in the refrigerator.

NOTE: You can use any piece of white or unbleached 100% cotton cloth at least 19″ by 19″ in place of the cheesecloth or even a large man’s handkerchief will work!

Bag Cheese with Chives, Cilantro, Dill, and Hot Peppers
Recipe adapted from “Assyrian Cookery” by David Warda

Printed with Permission of my college buddy, David Warda

1 lb Lemon Bag Cheese Farmer’s Cheese or Cottage Cheese
1 Hot Hungarian Pepper
1/4 Sweet Red Bell Pepper
2 TBL fresh Chives, minced
2 TBL fresh Cilantro, minced
2 TBL fresh Dill or to taste

1. Follow above Lemon Bag Cheese Recipe or substitute Farmer’s Cheese or Cottage Cheese.

2. Remove stems and seeds from Hot Hungarian and Sweet Red Peppers. Rinse, dry and finely mince. Set aside.

3. Remove roots from chives, discard. Rinse, dry and finely chop. Set aside.

4. Remove leaves from Cilantro and Dill. Rinse, dry and finely chop. Set aside.

5. Add chopped Peppers, Chives, Cilantro and Dill to bag cheese. Mix well. Salt to taste.

6. Store in a covered container in the refrigerator.

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Comments

  • katrina May 12, 2010 at 10:33 pm

    Oh – this sounds awesome! Just up my alley, with lots of herbs and a little kitchen magic! Many thanks and I’ll let you know asap when I make it……

  • TONY KIRK May 13, 2010 at 12:40 am

    HOW LONG CAN THIS CHEESE BE SAFELY STORED IN THE REFIGERATOR? CAN IT ALSO BE FROZEN?
    THANKS FOR YOUR HELP —

    TONY

  • Sheila May 13, 2010 at 12:47 am

    Michelle! I’ve been MIA, but I came back and couldn’t find you. Is this a new blog??? You weren’t showing up on my reader. I can’t figure out what is going on.

    I’m glad I found you, though! Hope you are well. That recipe looks fabulous. Sounds like something we’d love here!

    Thank you for sharing it with us.

    XO,

    Sheila :-)

  • Julie Harward May 13, 2010 at 1:06 am

    This very interesting about this cheese…would love to taste it..looks good! :D

  • Sophie May 13, 2010 at 8:34 am

    Hello Michelle!!

    What a beautful home made cheese & what a lovely recipe with it!!

    Very tasty & lovely food! Yummmmm,..

  • Gene May 13, 2010 at 6:16 pm

    Looks yummy as always. I love home made cheeses

  • Raina May 13, 2010 at 10:40 pm

    This looks incredible. The cheese looks amazing and OMG chicken salad on a homemade pita…YUM!

  • Cristie May 14, 2010 at 4:07 pm

    Michelle, I love your new blog! It’s beautiful! I hope you’re recovering quickly. This cheese looks to die for good, and your pita’s look stunning. Thanks for all you do for us in HBin5.

  • TONY KIRK May 14, 2010 at 7:29 pm

    SINCE I LIVE IN A VERY SMALL TOWN IN TEXAS LEMONS ARE SOMETIMES NOT AVAILABLE OR OLSER WITH VERY LITTLE IF ANY JUICE IWAS WONDERING IF THE BOTTLED RECONSTITUTED WOULD WORK AS WELL??

    THANKS,

    TONY

  • Ezzie May 14, 2010 at 9:05 pm

    Oh my! This is such an easy and delicious sounding recipe. I’ve made a few cheeses before and want to try more of them, and this one is first on the list! I love the idea of just using the juice of the lemons to get the cheese to firm up! Wonderful! I am wondering if I can make this with limes also? I think it would work the same. I always have limes in the house but not so many lemons. Although like Tony Kirk I wonder how reconstitued lemon juice would work…about the same I would guess!

    Thanks for such a good recipe!

  • Ezzie May 14, 2010 at 9:09 pm

    Almost forgot to mention … I started learning cheesemaking from David Fankhauser’s webpage http://biology.clc.uc.edu/fankhauser/cheese/cheese.html

    He’s a biology professor and has great cheese and rootbeer and gingerale recipes. He also does bread making and has that on his website as well. I’d love to take one of his classes but alas alack tis not to be with him in one state and me in another!

  • Nancy May 15, 2010 at 6:48 am

    Sounds great!!! Looks Great!!!

  • Nancy May 15, 2010 at 7:03 am

    How long will the cheese keep in the refridge; also the spread how long will it keep?

  • Ezzie May 15, 2010 at 9:24 am

    I have to tell you again Michelle how much I love this group and appreciate all your fabulous work on it! Such a great job!

  • tasteofbeirut May 15, 2010 at 10:21 pm

    That is so funny Michelle! I have been fiddling with a cheese recipe this past week and still trying it out; love your cheese I feel like grabbing a big mouthful!

  • petra May 16, 2010 at 7:24 am

    I made the cheese last night and it turned out great, more crumbly than expected but yet not dry tasting. I used it in Ricotta dumpling soup (that post will be up tomorrow, the cheese is up already)

  • Elwood May 16, 2010 at 8:43 am

    Michelle,
    As usual great post. I’ve always wanted to make my own cheese and here you’ve given me an easy recipe to start with. The pitas look yummy too!

  • Mimi May 16, 2010 at 10:46 am

    I’ve just started making homemade cheese, so I’m sure I’ll enjoy this recipe.
    Mimi

  • Danielle May 17, 2010 at 9:56 pm

    wow!! that lemon cheese looks and sounds unreal!!! I’ve been holding off making cheese but this does look like the perfect recipe to get ones foot in the door. thank you for both recipes :)

  • petra May 18, 2010 at 6:24 am

    Lemon Bag cheese dumplings went in my soup yesterday (http://desert-or-dessert.blogspot.com/2010/05/lemon-bag-cheese-dumplings-in-broth.html) and the leftover filling wih some parma ham is waiting wrapped in Ravioli to be eaten at dinner. This cheese is a great stand-in for Ricotta

  • Welcome to the 11th HBinFive Bread Braid May 26, 2010 at 11:27 am

    [...] Lemon Bag Cheese with with Chives, Cilantro, Dill, and Hot Peppers! [...]

  • Judy August 9, 2010 at 12:40 pm

    WOW, that lemon cheese looks yummy!

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