Adapted from The Winterlake Lodge Cookbook (Graphic Arts Books, 2003) Redoubt Bay Lodge, Tutka Bay Lodge, and Winterlake LodgeAlaska
The menus at Kirsten Dixon’s restaurants match the unparalleled scenic beauty of their remote Alaska locales. For her dinner at the Beard House she served this homemade cheese with roasted beets and wild herbs, but you can serve it in a variety of ways. “This simple, easy cheese is fun to make and spread onto crackers or crumble into salads,” she told us, adding, “I like to put bits of it into tomato basil bisque.”
6 to 8 ounces
- 1 quart whole milk
- 2 tablespoons lemon juice
- 1 small bunch fresh lemon thyme sprigs
- 1 teaspoon coarse sea salt
- Freshly ground black pepper
Heat the milk to 170ºF in a double boiler. Add the lemon juice and stir well. Turn the stove off. Leaving the double boiler on the warm stove, let the milk set for 15 minutes. If the milk doesn't curdle and firm up, add more lemon juice a teaspoon at a time until soft, solid curds begin to form.
Pour the cheese curds into the cheesecloth-lined colander. Tie the four corners of the cheesecloth into a knot and hang the bag to drain over a bowl for about 1 1/2 hours or until the curds have stopped dripping.
Remove the thyme leaves from the stems. Take the cheese out of the cheesecloth and place it in a large bowl. Add the salt and thyme and stir with a spoon. Season with the pepper to taste. Place the cheese in an airtight container and store in the refrigerator for up to 1 week.