I Made Mozzarella From Scratch In A Sad NYC Kitchen

On Good Chef, Bad Kitchen, professionals take on the ultimate challenge: Cooking in a bare, under-utilized kitchen. In this episode, chef Angie Rito of New York restaurant Don Angie shares her recipe for a grilled peach caprese salad with homemade mozzarella.
If you're anything like this editor, mozzarella has a special place in the culinary world. It's the stuff that makes pizza legendary, the toppings that make sad desk salads worth it, and the start of a full-on burrata obsession. So when Angie Rito of West Village's Don Angie suggested homemade mozzarella for an episode of Good Chef, Bad Kitchen, let's just say many people were very excited.
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Homemade mozzarella is deceiving; while the ingredients are few and steps seemingly simple, one tiny misstep can be the difference between sad cheese curds and a warm, creamy ball of mozz. Watch above as Angie tries her hand at homemade mozzarella in a poorly stocked NYC kitchen, and then try it below. Even the pros can mess up sometimes; take our word and buy an extra ball of mozzarella as backup. Worst case scenario, you end up with extra mozz, which isn't a bad thing at all.
Angie Rito's Grilled Peach Caprese Salad With Homemade Mozzarella and Amaretto
For the Mozzarella:
1/2 gallon whole milk, not ultra-pasteurized (raw milk is ideal, if available)
3/4 tsp citric acid
1/8 tsp liquid rennet
1/ tsp kosher salt
1. Sterilize a medium-sized heavy-bottomed pot by boiling water in it. Discard the water, dry the pot and allow it to cool. Add rennet to 2 tablespoons of cool water in a small bowl. Set aside. In another small bowl, add citric acid to 1/2 cup cool water.
2. Put the citric acid mixture into the pot. Pour the milk into the pot and stir well to combine. Over a medium-low flame, heat the milk slowly to 95-100 degrees F, until visibly curdled. Remove the pot from the burner and slowly add the rennet mixture. Stir to combine thoroughly. Cover the pot with a lid and allow to sit for 5 minutes undisturbed, up to a half hour.
3. Once solidified, with a sharp knife cut the curds with a checkerboard pattern into small squares. Place pot back on the stove and heat to 110 degrees F, slowly stirring the curds to ensure that they heat evenly. Take pot off of the heat and continue to stir slowly for 5 minutes. Pour the mixture into a colander lined with cheese cloth, set over another container to collect the whey. Press the curd to remove excess liquid. Allow to rest for 30 minutes.
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4. In a small pot, heat 1 1/2 cup of the reserved whey. Add 1/2 teaspoon salt. Heat to 180 degrees. Add half of the mozzarella curd to the pot and gently stir with a spoon, corralling the curds to one side of the pot. Once the mozzarella curds form a small cohesive mass, start to gently stretch with your hands, forming a ball and tucking the ends underneath repeatedly. Form a circle shape with the index finger and thumb of your less dominant hand and push the mixture through with the index finger of your dominant hand to create a smooth ball. Pinch the end of the bottom with the index finger and thumb of your dominant hand. Repeat this step with the remaining curd to form two small mozzarella balls.
For The Macerated Peaches
1 large peach
2 tbsps olive oil
Squeeze of lemon juice
2 tsp of amaretto
2 sprigs basil, picked and roughly chopped
½ tsp salt
1. Cut peach into 8-10 wedges. Coat with non-stick cooking spray and season with salt.
2. Place peach wedges on a hot cast iron grill pan and grill until dark grill marks appear.
3. Place the peaches in a bowl and add remaining ingredients. Toss well to coat. Allow to sit and macerate for at least ten minutes before serving.
To Serve
Mozzarella
Macerated Peaches
Sea Salt
1 sprig basil, leaves picked
Peppermill
1/2 cup crumbled amaretti cookies
1. Arrange macerated peaches on a plate. Slice mozzarella into quarters and season with a little sea salt if desired. Arrange on a plate. Season with freshly cracked pepper. Garnish with crumbled amaretti cookies and basil leaves.
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