Oil-Free Soy-Free Nut-Based Cheeses

Making cultured cheese at home takes a very long time unless one has the ability to store it at the correct temperature, which I don’t. Room temp is too warm and unsafe; fridge temp is too cold and therefore makes the process take a lot longer than it otherwise would. This batch has been in the works for nearly two months! Although the process takes a lot of time it’s not a lot of work, so why the heck not try it, right?

The recipe is a work in progress but I’ll share anyway. IF you make it please do share your results and any edits you make to the recipe

Day 1

2 cups raw almonds, blanched and peeled OR raw cashews

Approx 1 tbsp South River brand chickpea miso

2 probiotic capsules

A few drops of vegan rennet

1/8 tsp lactic acid

Distilled water as needed for blending

Penicillium candidum

Add nuts and just enough distilled water to barely cover them to high-powered blender & process until VERY silky smooth

Add miso, lactic acid & rennet, process just long enough to combine

Pour/spoon mixture into Mason jar, add contents of probiotic capsules and stir gently to combine

Cover jar and let sit on counter out of direct sunlight for 24 hours

Day 2

Divide above batch in half. You now have two smaller batches.

To one batch add 1 tbsp South River chickpea miso and about 1 tsp smoked paprika. Leave the 2nd batch plain

Line two mini spring form pans with fine cheesecloth and fill one with the plain batch and one with the flavored batch.

Cover pans loosely with cheesecloth, place on absorbent towel and leave on counter out of direct sunlight for 24 hours

Day 3

Uncover, grasp overhanging cheesecloth and gently begin to lift cheese out of spring form pan. If it’s still too soft to hold its shape lower it back into the pan. Lightly sprinkle top of cheese with Real Salt, cover with cheesecloth and let it rest on counter another 24 hours

Day 4

Repeat Day 3 steps for up to four more days until the cheese will somewhat hold its shape enough so that you can turn it over without it falling apart. Salt the top, cover with cheesecloth and place cheeses in the fridge

Day 5+

When cheese will hold it’s shape fairly well, turn it out of the cheesecloth and into a wax paper or parchment paper lined covered dish; Generously spray top and sides with Penicillim Candidum that has been dissolved in water, cover and return cheese to fridge. The next day, turn the cheese over and spray top and sides with Penicillium candidum

Then daily…

Turn cheese over, replacing wax/parchment paper if/when wet as often as needed, which could be as frequently as daily or infrequently as weekly

Eventually mold/rind will begin to form. Continue to turn cheese daily. Be patient! Mold rind will grow slowly

Air-Fried ‘Egg’ Rolls

With spicy General T’so style sauce

With sweet chili sauce

Air-Fried Vegan Chinese “Egg” Rolls

Ingredients

• 6 8-inch spring roll pastry sheets

• 3 small zucchinis, finely shredded

• ½ onion, shredded

• ½ small head nappa cabbage, shredded

• 1 tsp coconut aminos

• ¼ tsp garlic powder

• 1/8 tsp ground ginger

• Optional dipping sauce(s) – see below

Method

1. Preheat large skillet, wok or sauté pan over medium-high heat

2. Layer veg into hot pan in this order: onion, zucchini, cabbage; cover, reduce heat to medium and give it a few minutes to cook undisturbed. The onion on the bottom will help prevent sticking, as will the liquid being released from the veg as they cook

3. Remove lid, add spices and seasonings and toss well. Continue cooking, uncovered, to allow liquid to evaporate, stirring often to keep veg from sticking. Increase heat if necessary to facilitate liquid evaporation. To avoid mushy veg don’t overcook

4. Spoon veg into fine strainer placed over a bowl and set aside to drain until cool enough to handle. You can fill and cook egg rolls now or set it aside until you’re ready to prepare and serve the egg rolls

5. One at a time lay spring roll pastry sheet on silicone sheet or wax paper, spoon 1/3 to ½ cup veg onto pastry, roll completely, fold ends under and place seam-side down on baking sheet lined with silicone baking sheet or parchment paper

6. Air-fry @ 350-degrees for approximately 10 minutes per side or until browned to your liking

Dipping sauce

– 1 tbsp goguchang

– 2 tsp maple syrup

– ¼ tsp coconut aminos

– ¼ tsp garlic powder

– 1/8 tsp ground ginger

Recipe Notes

– during the sauté process veg will cook down quite a bit

– to sub brown rice paper wrappers for the pastry, allow cooked veg to cool completely before filling wrappers; then dip each wrapper into tepid water for a few seconds, place on silicone sheet; fill and bake as above, checking often to avoid over-baking. To avoid mushy rolls be sure veg is very well drained

– For those desiring the classic deep-fried taste and mouth-feel without the mess and hassle I’m guessing that if the rolls are sprayed or brushed with oil prior to cooking the resulting product might be more to your liking, but I’ve not tested this theory

Cheers!