Monday, October 19, 2015

Mint & Plum Cheese | "Dragon Age: Inquisition"

          Cole is one of my favorite characters in BioWare's RPG video game "Dragon Age: Inquisition". He tries so hard to help people, according to his understanding. Sometimes it's tragic, sometimes it's tender, and sometimes it's cute; but always it's thoughtful (like, full of thought behind it on his part).
          In Skyhold, he gets up to what seems like weird shenanigans, but don't tell him to stop! He's helping. He pilfers some plums, peels them, and sits them in the kitchen window to attract gnats and fruit flies, which in turn brings spiders that spin webs. Cole knows that spider webbing can be used for healing (check out my little peeled plum photo shoot here). He also grabs some cheese ("Dragon Age" loves some cheese, that's fo sho) to attract mice to bring cats, and some mint so the cats will get loopy (meaning it was catmint or catnip, not regular spearmint, but it's all right) and dance, making the cook happy. See how wonderful he is? He wants to help people to be happy. And he often does it through food. There is also a very considerate thing he does with turnips, but there are no turnips in this recipe, so we'll leave it alone for now.
          This cheese is best on bread as Cole did take some bread at one point and break it up to put on the battlements in order to attract birds so a wounded soldier would see them flying overhead and hang on to his life. What a guy. Honey also factors into this cheese, perhaps gathered from the bees kept for the "jar of bees" bombs :). Man, I love this game.


Cole's Mint & Plum Cheese

Ingredients:
8 Cups (1/2 gallon) Whole Milk
1/4 Cup Fresh Squeezed Lemon Juice
1/4 Cup White Vinegar
1 1/2 tsp. Salt + 1/4 tsp. Salt later on
1/4 Cup Finely Diced Dried Plums (aka Prunes)
1 1/2 Tbsp. Finely Chopped Fresh Mint
1 1/2 tsp. Honey

Important Items:
Cheese Cloth or Flour Sack Cloth
Mesh Strainer
Plastic Wrap
Small-Medium Bowl (mine was ~ 4" - 4 1/2" in diameter)

Directions:
1. In a large pot over med-high heat, add the 1 1/2 tsp. salt to the milk & bring it to a gentle boil, stirring occasionally so the milk doesn't cook to the bottom of the pot. While the milk is heating, set the strainer in the sink with the cheese cloth draped inside.
2. Once the top of the milk gets foamy & begins to rise, combine the lemon juice & vinegar & pour it into the pot. You should see an immediate change as the curds (the white clumps) separate from the whey (the yellowish liquid). Gently stir the liquid to aid in separation.
3. Remove the pot from the heat & carefully pour the curds & whey into the strainer with the cheese cloth. Stir & scrape to help the whey drain through. Once most of the whey has drained out, rinse the curds with cold water (this will cool the curds down & rinse out the lemon & vinegar flavor). Using your spoon or a small spatula, scrape down the curd crumbles several times to keep them clumped together. Let the water drain through & then gather the curds up in the cloth & squeeze well to drain out the rest of the water & whey.
4. Transfer the drained curds to a bowl & stir in the 1/4 tsp. salt + plums, mint, & honey. Place a large sheet of plastic wrap into a bowl & then scoop in the curds. Gather the ends of the plastic & twist them up, compacting the curds inside. Leave it in the bowl to keep its shape & place the bowl into the fridge overnight. Serve with nice bakery bread and share with your party; those goofballs you go inquisiting with.

* For more "Dragon Age" food, try my Spicy Wyvern Wings & Wedge of Destiny Appetizers*

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