Thursday, August 19, 2010

Make your own Fromage Frais

Since I was a child I love fromage frais or curd cheese (requeson in Galego), which is quite popular as a dessert in France and other countries in the continent but not that widely accepted as a sweet treat in Ireland.

Since our friend Gillian is staying with us for a few weeks and her family has a dairy farm in Co. Waterford, she brings some unpasteurised milk every week with her. Most of the weeks we don't manage to drink it all so I decided to give fromage frais a shot for two reasons: there is not much you can do with milk that's starting to go off! and it has been years since I last ate proper homemade curd cheese.

If you don't have unpasteurised milk, I hear it's possible to make as well, by getting some gelling agents at the chemist - but I have never tried.

Anyway, making curd cheese from unpasteurised milk is just so easy. First you let the milk sit in a bowl out of the fridge so it curdles. Leaving it overnight should do, specially in the summer months. In the morning, the milk will be completely set and will look like gelatine.

Traditionally, the next step consists in hanging the curdled milk in a cloth in a cool corner and let the whey drip. For a quick fix, I just put a cloth on a colander and let it drip on to a big bowl or even the sink. After a few hours, the whey will be all in the bowl and the cheese will be ready to eat. Spoon it out of the cloth on to a small bowl. I like eating it just as it is, with some sugar or honey but if you are a bit squeamish, mix in with a bit of milk and blend for a smooth result. Yummy! Mr M and Gillian don't seem so impressed so I'm eating it all on my own.

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Feeding the Seals in Howth Harbour

There is such a thing as a free lunch, at least for the seals that hang out by Howth's pier. If you thought you were the only one heading to Howth for a good seafood meal, you were very wrong. The seals get the best deal around though. Here's a video of a recent Sunday trip to Howth with friends Iria and Clara.