This summer has been wild and crazy. We packed up our home and moved into a new home. At the same time we had to get one house ready for renters and get several projects done at the new house before settled into our new space. Whew. It was an intense couple months to say the least. In all of that I haven't been doing a lot of creative cooking. Well honestly I hadn't been doing a lot of cooking in general. Take-out was one of my best friends. That is why I have been on a blogging sabbatical. If you haven't already "liked" Pint Sized Foodies on Facebook please do. I do a little more updating and sharing other recipes more frequently on the Facebook page.
Now onto one of my favorite staple recipes. This past year a friend passed this recipe onto me that she had gotten from VegNews. This quickly became a staple in my kitchen and we all love it. I add it to soups, sandwiches, pizzas, salads, and even just use it as a dip for crackers. I hope you enjoy it as much as we do. Stay tuned for my favorite beet salad that includes this scrumptious cheese.
1 cup raw almonds
1/4 cup lemon juice
1 clove garlic
3 TBS Olive oil (optional)
1 1/4 tsp salt
1/2 cup cold water
1) Place almonds in medium bowl and cover with cold water. Let soak 24 hours. Another option is to pour boiling water over the almonds and let them soak for 5-10 minutes. (This is often my option because I don't plan far enough ahead). Then drain soaking liquid, rinse almonds under water and drain again. At this point, you can pop the almonds out of the skins by just pinching them....just be careful for almonds flying across the room. This is not necessary step, but if you choose not to do this, the cheese will look less like cheese because you will be able to see the skins blended into the cheese. It in no way detracts from the taste and does add fiber.
3)Place large strainer over bowl and line a triple layer of cheesecloth. Spoon mixture into a cheesecloth. Bring corners and sides of cloth together and twist around cheese, forming into orange-size ball. Secure with rubber band or kitchen twine and chill 12 hours. (I would say this step is optional. It makes the cheese a little more like feta when you do this step and without this step it is a bit softer and more like a soft goat cheese. I also often skip this step for lack of planning ahead. Seeing a theme in my life right now??!!?!)
4)Preheat oven to 200 degrees. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Unwrap cheese and transfer from cheesecloth to prepared baking sheet. Flatten to form 6 inch round about 3/4 inch thick. Bake 40 minutes or until top is slightly firm. Cool, then chill. You can also choose to skip the baking step. It just is less firm--easy to spread.