Blog :: Ramblings of a health nut

Requeijão

Posted on 10 May 2014 by maisha (posted in: blogs)

I set out to make requeijão, mistakenly thinking I was making pirão de queijo de coalho, the to-die-for cheese sauce that came with the carne de sol,our first proper meal in Brazil. I guess I should have checked my blog post first...
Requeijão is described as the Brazilian cream cheese, although in my opinion it tastes nothing like any cream cheese I've ever tried.

Browsing the web you'll find many recipes, but they all boil down to two ways of preparing it:


  1. Heating milk with a thickening agent (corn starch or potato starch) and blending this thickened mixture with cheese, butter, and cream.
  2. Making ricotta from scratch and blending this with cheese, butter, and cream.


Since I've always wanted to try my hand at making ricotta, I decided to go for that. I also decided to lighten things up by using semi-skimmed milk instead of full-fat milk. I didn't want to skimp completely on the cream, butter, and cheese, but I did reduce the amounts suggested in the various recipes and replaced them by more milk to make it all come together. The result was a white, custard-like cheese sauce that tasted incredibly mild and creamy with subtle undertones of cheese and butter. It firmed up quite a bit in the fridge though, so I ended up with a cream cheese consistency while I was aiming more for a thick sauce that you can barely pour. So next time I'd add more milk until I get a runny sauce, which should firm up to my desired consistency in the fridge.
I've been using my requeijão in and on literally everything I can think of: as a spread on sandwiches, as a dip for crackers/vegetable/fruit, as a sauce for pasta (add it to warm pasta and it will melt into a wonderful creamy mess), to make a creamy coleslaw... really the possibilities are endless, both savory and sweet.

[Creamy coleslaw]

Requeijão recipe (makes 1 large jar; approximately 500 g)

Nutritional information for a 50 g (about 2 heaping tbsp) serving:


Ingredients


  • 2 liter 2% fat milk
  • 4 tbsp white vinegar
  • pinch of salt
  • 120 mL (0.5 c) cream
  • 120 mL (0.5 c) 2% fat milk
  • 240 mL (1 c) water
  • 2 tbsp butter
  • 50 g grated cheese



Instructions



  1. Heat milk to 90°C (until almost boiling) on low heat. The milk will start to steam and foam. Just don't let it boil.
  2. When your milk has reached near boiling point, remove from heat, add the vinegar and salt, stir, and then let the mixture sit undisturbed for 10-15 minutes.
  3. After 10 minutes the milk will have separated into curds and watery whey. Strain the curds in a cheesecloth and you're left with ricotta.
  4. Add the ricotta to a blender together with the remaining ingredients and blend on high until creamy and smooth. Transfer mixture to a glass jar and keep refrigerated for up to 7 days.



 

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