Nothing is quite as wonderful as just-made mozzarella cheese that is still warm and seepy in the center. Once the technique is practiced a few times it becomes quite simple and can be a great interactive way to get your guests involved in the food preparation at your next dinner party. The cheese is wonderful in summertime with fresh tomatoes, basil, and high quality balsamic vinegar, or on its own with some grilled bread rubbed with fresh garlic. When paired with our Cabernet Sauvignon, the mozzarella enhances the wine’s inherent rich, round notes, while the creamy cheese brings to life the caramelized oak notes of the Cabernet. 

Ingredients:

6 ounces per serving Whole milk mozzarella curd (available online or from an artisan cheese shop)
1 cup Kosher salt
1 gallon Boiling water
1 bottle Olive oil To taste Sea salt To taste Black pepper

Peperonata Ingredients:

While the “just made” mozzarella is perfect on its own, if you don’t have time to make it, the following recipe will go great with a high quality store bought fresh mozzarella or burrata.

Servings:Four

2 large cloves Fresh garlic, thinly sliced
4 ea Red bell peppers
½ cup Olive oil
1 tblspn Fresh oregano, chopped
¼ cup Red onion, diced
3 tblspn Balsamic vinegar

Directions:

Break the curd into walnut size pieces and allow it to reach room temperature. Create a saline solution by bringing 1 cup of kosher salt and 1 gallon of water to a boil. Place about 6 ounces of curds into a stainless steel bowl and begin to melt by ladling in small amounts of the boiling saline. It helps to use a fine mesh strainer and drain the saline from the curds when it's no longer extremely hot, and add fresh boiling saline. Once the curds are melted, begin to form a ball. You can accomplish this by first adding a final ladle of boiling saline and then reaching directly into the hot bowl and pulling out the very hot mass of cheese. (Take note, it will be very hot so please use caution when pulling out the cheese.) It is recommended to keep a bowl of ice water nearby and dip your hands in occasionally for relief. You should have in your hands a mass of seeping, gooey cheese from which you form into a ball by folding it over on top of itself repeatedly. In order to develop the elasticity of the ball, form a ring by touching together the tips of your forefinger and thumb of your right hand. Place the cheese "ball" on the tips of your 2nd, 3rd and 4th fingers of your left hand and push the "ball" through the ring of your right hand. Gradually expand the ring made by your right hand to allow the ball to fit through. Repeat. Repeat again. The outside of the cheese should look smooth and very elastic at this point. If it doesn’t, you will need to start over. Rest the cheese by placing it in a cold water bath so the form of the ball holds. Do this for about 30 seconds.

Some Hints for Success:

The water needs to be hot - any temperature less than "too hot" is not hot enough and will create inferior, lumpy cheese. Never refrigerate your cheese - it will get tough and rubbery. Be sure to buy whole milk curds for ideal flavor.

Peperonata Instructions:
To roast the peppers using a gas burner, turn the flame to high heat. Using kitchen tongs, place the peppers directly over the fire and cook, turning frequently, until black and charred completely on the outside. If a gas burner is not available, repeat this step over a grill or under the broiler in an oven. Once charred, place the peppers into a container and cover with plastic for 20-30 minutes. Remove the peppers and, using a chef’s knife, slice them open and remove all the seeds. Flip the pepper over so the charred side is up. Using the back of the knife, scrape all the charred skin off of the pepper. After being seeded and scraped, cut the peppers into long strips about ½ inch wide. In a sauté pan heat the oil over medium heat. Add the sliced garlic and sauté, stirring frequently, until toasted and golden brown. Add the onion, oregano, and bell peppers and cook 5-6 minutes more. Remove from heat and add the balsamic vinegar. Season lightly with kosher salt. This condiment is delicious spooned on top of fresh mozzarella with crusty bread and best enjoyed with a glass of Louis M. Martini Cabernet.

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Hand Made Fresh Mozzarella and Peperonata Recipe Cabernet Sauvignon Food Pairing - winely.us/a/5503

Pairs well with:
Sonoma County Cabernet Sauvignon