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“haloumi Made in Cypress, Haloumi is a firm, pickled (brined) cheese. It is a good hot-weather cheese: The salt inhibits the growth of mold and unwanted bacteria, which usually thrive in temperate conditions. 2 gallons whole milk 1 packet direct-set mesophilic starter or 4 ounces prepared mesophilic starter ½ teaspoon liquid rennet (or ½ rennet tablet) diluted in ¼ cup cool, unchlorinated water ¼ cup plus 2 pounds cheese salt, for brine 1 gallon cold water, for brine 1. Heat the milk to 86°F. Add the starter and mix well. 2. Add the diluted rennet and stir gently with an up-and-down motion for 1 minute. Cover and allow to set at 86°F for 30–45, minutes or until the curd gives a clean break. 3. Cut the curd into ½-inch cubes. 4. Increase the temperature two degrees every 5 minutes, until the curds reach 104°F (this will take about 45 minutes), stirring gently to keep the curds from matting. Maintain the curds at 104°F for 20 minutes, stirring gently every few minutes. 5. Ladle the curds into a cheesecloth-lined colander. Drain the whey into a pot and reserve. 6. Pack the curds into a cheesecloth-lined mold and press at 30 pounds of pressure for 1 hour. 7. Remove the cheese from the mold and gently peel away the cheesecloth. Turn over the cheese, re-dress it, and press at 50 pounds of pressure for 30 minutes. 8. Remove the cheese from the mold and cut into 3-inch-square blocks. 9. Bring the reserved whey to 176 to 194°F. Place the curd blocks in the whey and soak for 1 hour, at which time the cheese will have a texture similar to that of cooked chicken breast and will rise to the surface. 10. Strain the curds into a colander and let cool for 20 minutes. 11. Sprinkle the curds with ¼ cup of the salt and let cool for 2–4 hours 12. Combine the remaining 2 pounds of salt and the cold water to make a saturated brine solution. Soak the cheese in the brine for up to 60 days. The flavor increases with age, but the cheese may be eaten fresh at any time during the 60-day period. YIELD: 2 pounds”
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