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Curd Nerd Newsletter Edition #23
G'day Curd Nerds. Ready for an unusual cheese? Well, this cheese, Dry Jack is certainly different in looks and how you press it!

Dry Jack

Dry Jack cheese is considered a grating cheese with similar qualities to Parmesan. It is ivory to pale yellow, nutty and complex piquant flavour. It was first made in 1915 in San Francisco, USA.

I love this cheese because you do not need a special press to make it. All I did was form the curds into a ball shape after draining in butter muslin and tie a knot with twine close to the curds. Then fan the excess cloth out and place a chopping board on top with at least 4 litres of water to press. I used a large 5-litre saucepan filled with water on the top board. It was quite stable and didn’t topple, giving me an initial pressing of 4 kg / 9 lbs.

After two hours, I swapped to a larger pot and filled it with 16 litres of water to give me about 16 kg / 35 lbs of weight. Because the cheese was fairly flat after the initial press, this large pot did not wobble and was stable overnight.

The rub was a tad messy, but I channelled my inner pre-schooler and had a blast! I have now applied the rub three times and it has kept the mould at bay.

It is now ripening in the cheese fridge at 13°C / 55°F @ 85% relative humidity. I hope to age it for about 3 months as it is smaller than the traditional Dry Jack which weighs in at about 3 kg / 6 lbs 10 oz and normally ages for up to 12 months.

For your convenience, I’ve created a Dry Jack Cheese recipe card for you to purchase.

Did You Know?

Saganaki is not a cheese per se, but a pan that is used to cook a dish of fried cheese that is flambe. However, Saganaki is so simple to make!
  1. 1. Acquire or make some Graviera, Kefalograviera or Kefalotyri. Cut into 2.5 cm or 1-inch thick slices.
  2. If the cheese is dry, dip it in water, then coat the cheese in flour and shallow fry in olive oil over medium heat.
  3. Turn once only when browned on the bottom. Make sure they don’t stick to the pan.
  4. Serve hot with a squeeze of lemon. For added flair, add a splash of Ouzo to the pan and set it alight. Douse with lemon juice before eating. Opa!
You can watch this video to see how I made Saganaki with some Graviera I made;

Next week - Jack-in-the-Box

Next week's newsletter video is a cheese I made a while back that was visually and taste-wise impressive. It is a Pepper Jack inside a Monterey Jack cheese. It looks like a normal cheese to the untrained eye, but once you cut into it, the jack is out of the box (so to speak)! More on this cheese next week...

Special Offer of the Week

For the rest of this month, the limited-time special offer is a discount on all cheese baskets. Use the coupon code baskets in checkout or cart to get a 10% discount off any basket(s) in stock. Offer valid until midnight on 31st March 2024 Australia Eastern Standard Time.

Small Pyramid Cheese Basket

$14.50 inc GST

The Small Pyramid Cheese Basket is typically used for Valençay style cheese, an ash-coated mould-ripened goat's cheese.

Dimensions, Height 8 cm x Top 8.5 cm x Base 5.7 cm.  Slightly tapered for easy stacking.

Buy now
Pyramid Cheese Basket

Small Soft Cheese Basket

Small Soft Cheese Basket P00689

$5.50 inc GST

The Small Soft Cheese Basket is perfect for making Chaource, a classic white mould French lactic set cheese.

Dimensions, Height 8 cm x Top 8 cm x Base 7 cm.  Slightly tapered for easy stacking.

Buy now

Camembert and Blue Cheese Mould

$13.95 inc GST

Our classically formed Camembert and Blue Cheese mould is specially shaped to optimise the development of Camembert and blue-veined cheese types.

Measurements: Top Diameter: 9.6cm, Bottom Diameter: 9cm, Height: 9.2cm

Buy now
Camembert and Blue Cheese Mould

Cheese Basket 165 mm with Follower

Cheese Basket 165 mm with Follower

$24.95 inc GST

This Cheese Basket is 165 mm wide and 140 mm high.  They are perfect for making larger wheels of cheese and we use them for semi-hard and hard cheese when using the follower.  Can be used as a large hoop (with bottom) for making blue, Stilton, and brie.

Buy now

Feta Basket

$7.95 inc GST

This Feta Basket is 110 mm wide, and 85 mm high, and is ideal for making Feta style cheeses.

Buy now
Feta Baskets
If you have any questions about home cheesemaking, the best place to get them answered is during my weekly live stream "Ask the Cheeseman". Ask your questions in the chat and I will be more than happy to attempt to answer them for you.

Thanks for reading and don't forget that if you have any questions about cheese making or want to book some consultation time with me, just reply to this email and I'll get back to you promptly.

Yours in Cheese,
Gavin Webber
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