MY COOKBOOK

MY COOKBOOK
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5.3.10

HUNGARIAN CURD CHEESE – TÚRÓ


Turó is an essential ingredient in Hungarian cooking. Túró is similar to fromage frais, but is not. Túró is often translated as cottage cheese, but it bears no relation to liquidy cottage cheese. Dictionaries sometimes translate it as curd cheese or quark or farmer’s cheese. But it’s none of the above. Túró is distinctly different from ricotta, because ricotta is made from scalded whey. (The stuff left behind when túró is made.) It also differs from cream cheese in its usually much lower fat content (about the same as yogurt), and it is completely salt free. Túró is wonderful, fabulous and there exist no replacement for it. Túró is not readily available outside of Hungary. So unless you have a cow or know someone who has one, you can’t make túró right? Wrong! Making túró from pasteurized milk is possible. With the active bacteria in buttermilk, even pasteurized milk can be turned into túró. The actual work involved is minimal; the only effort is letting it sit on the counter for a couple of days and than transferring it to the oven for a few hours. After that you just let it drain. So the only effort is giving it time, because you cannot just open a package and start using it right of way. Oh, but its well worth the wait!

To make túró you will need:

4 liter 3.25% milk
1 liter 3.25% cultured buttermilk [buttermilk has to contain "active culture"]

Pour the milk and the buttermilk into a large stainless steel stockpot with ovenproof handles.
Cover and set it aside on the counter, near the stove or a warm place for 24-48 hours.
Let it sit until the mixture has the consistency of thick yogurt.

Take off the lid and move the stockpot with its contents into the oven and heat it at 200F (which is approximately 93.3 in Celsius) for 6 hours or longer. This will make the curd separate from the whey.
Test the consistency; it should be homogeneous curd throughout.
If in parts the curd still resembles yogurt, the túró is not yet ready. Put it back in the oven for a little while longer, never raising the temperature above 200F.

Meanwhile place a large sieve over a large bowl and line the sieve with cheese cloth.
When the curds and the whey are truly separated, pour the pot’s contents into the cheesecloth lined sieve. Most of the whey will run through the sieve.
Let the remaining whey drip down for 2-3 hours.
The 1.25 kg or 5 cups plus curd in the sieve will be real túró and it should last in the fridge for up to a week.

It was 11PM and my last batch was nowhere ready for separation. I turned off the oven and just left the pot with the half made curd sit in the oven overnight. The next morning I turned on the oven and by the afternoon we had túró.



   

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It began with posting a few recipes on line for my family. "zsuzsa is in the kitchen" has more than 1000 Hungarian and International recipes. What started out as a private project turned into a well visited blog. The number of visitors long passed the two million mark. I organized my recipes into an on-line cookbook. On top of the page click on the cookbook to access the recipes. I am not profiting from my blog, so my visitors will not be harassed with advertising or flashy gadgets. Feel free to cut and paste my recipes for your own use. Publication is permitted as long as it is in your own words and with your own photographs. However, I would ask you for an acknowledgement and link-back to my blog. Happy cooking!

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