Homemade Cheese Ricotta Cheese with peppers (in Turkish çökelek basması)
1 Ricotta cheese ( 15 oz = 425 gr )
10 jalapeño chili pepper (or if you want sweet taste use Anaheim pepper)
10 pepperoncini ( sliced thinly )
1 cup whole milk
1 tablespoon salt
1 tablespoon olive oil
What you need?
A big jar ( 34 oz or 0.94 kg ) with a tight lid
A cheese cloth
A large bowl
A smooth surface small stone ( pebble stone )
2 weeks waiting period in the refrigerator
How to make çökelek basma in US?
Since it is hard to buy çökelek ( a type of Turkish cheese ) in grocery stores, a bit similar taste would be Ricotta cheese.
So I used Ricotta cheese to make “çökelek basma” this breakfast or lunch time appetizer type bread spread.
It is not difficult to make it, but takes a long time to happen.
First mix the Ricotta cheese with milk in the bowl. Add salt and olive oil in it.
Sliced the peppers thinly, set aside.
Then fill the jar one layer cheese, one layer peppers. Repeat it until the jar is full.
Leave a bit room on top.
When the jar is full put the cheese cloth on top. Placed the stone on top and cover the lid tightly.
The stone will push the cheese and peppers down.
Every day cheese will leave a bit water on the surface. Discard that water. Do not mix the cheese.
Keep in the refrigerator about 2 weeks. When there is no water on the surface, the cheese is ready to consume. Always keep this cheese in the refrigerator.
How do you eat?
You can spread this on the bread, or crackers as hot appetizers. You can also cook in the frying pen with two eggs, as breakfast or lunch dish.
An Anaheim pepper is a mild variety of chili pepper. They are long, meaty
Jalapeño is a medium-sized chili pepper that has a warm, burning sensation when eaten. Jalapeños are dark green hot peppers.
Peperoncini (or pepperoncini), common names Tuscan peppers, sweet Italian peppers, golden Greek peppers and Kyle peppers, or in Turkish turşuluk biber are a variety of the species. Usually they are sweet, often used as pickle.
Çökelek: is made from the left over from the cheese making process. It can be describe that one step before being cheese in the process. The greenish yellow liquid from making cheese or lor (a soft curd cheese) from the milk is not discarded. When the whey is boiled up, it turns to a new form that the curd known as çökelek or çökelik forms. Çökelek looks like (as appearance, not taste) crumbled feta cheese.
Whey is the liquid remaining after milk has been curdled and strained.
Lor is a soft fresh cheese, similar to harder textured Ricotta cheese. It is produced by dairies making kaşar (a hard yellow cheese) from sheep’s milk. Lor comes with a variety of flavors often made in villages made from the whey left over from cheese making just like çökelek.
The dofference between çökelek and lor is çökelek has dried taste, large curds than lor. Lor is usually oliler, softer, easy to spread on bread. Çökelek generally used ad filling in pastries especially börek. Çökelek and Lor are cheeses typically sold in Aegean bazaars and markets.