Congratulations to Maria Lawton on her new cook book!
Azorean Cooking: From My Family Table to Yours!
Cook Book Author, Maria Lawton says; “For more than four years, I have made it my mission to preserve my family recipes. At first, it was for selfish reasons – I wanted to make sure that they would be passed down to my children and future grandchildren.For more than four years, I have made it my mission to preserve my family recipes. At first, it was for selfish reasons – I wanted to make sure that they would be passed down to my children and future grandchildren.
Now, it has turned into a mission to share with everyone who is missing their Azorean mother or grandmother’s cooking. I want them to know how to recreate the tastes and smells of the past. I know when I am cooking and my kitchen smells like and reminds me of my mom or grandmother’s kitchen… I know I have it right. It is sometimes so overwhelming and I can feel them near me.
This really has been a wonderful journey home for me. I hope this helps you on your journey too. “
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Maria shares a classic recipe for Queijo Fresco with us.
Queijo fresco “fresh cheese”) is a very popular cheese in the Portuguese diet.
This cheese is eaten at breakfast, as a side dish, or as an appetizer. The cheese is typically served with fresh cracked pepper, olive oil, pimenta moida (Portuguese red pepper condiment) or fruit and honey.
The traditional way to make this cheese on the Azorean Island of San Miguel is to use goat’s milk, but her recipe uses cow’s milk.
Maria’s suggests that if you live near a dairy farm to go get some fresh Pasteurized milk which will produce great curds!
*I learned that the first rule of queijo fresco is no double dipping when serving. Be sure to always use a clean spoon or knife because this fresh cheese is so delicate that any new bacteria introduced will multiply and make the cheese sour!
Watch Maria’s video on how to make the cheese!
Soft cheese recipe by Maria Lawton, Azorean Green Bean
1/2 Gallon of whole milk (mandatory)
1 tsp powdered rennet
2 round cheese molds with strain holes
1/2 tsp sea salt
Heat milk in a pan for 30 minutes at low heat(*Do not let milk heat to over 97 degrees!) Set aside, stir in the whey and salt, and let the cheese rest of 30 – 45 minutes.
After 30 minutes you will see beautiful thick curds have formed. Begin to fill cheese molds.
Press down to remove any excess whey. Refrigerate the cheese for 24 hours.
First day; drain the whey again and return to the refrigerator.
Second day; there will be less whey but you’ll need to drain it and return the cheese to refrigerator.
Third day; you’ll see very little whey and that the cheese has firmed up.
Thanks to Maria for sharing her recipe!
Keep cooking everyone and enjoy the cook book!