Manchego ...offering to the smoke gods

Manchego ...offering to the smoke gods

Postby GUS » Mon Dec 23, 2013 6:09 pm

Wife stopped off in Waitrose & purchased some "Curado" Manchego cheese to offer up to the smoke gods.

(Between three and six months old) a Manchego Curado. The cheese is about halfway to being completely solid – technically, it’s semi-cured, taste is mild, not over-powering, with a nutty piquancy and a smooth, creamy texture.

So Manchego afficienados! tips on csg'ing this ..lest I ruin it?

(oh & some port salut)

Cheers, as ever.
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Re: Manchego ...offering to the smoke gods

Postby wheels » Mon Dec 23, 2013 7:42 pm

Don't, just eat it! Get some rubbish Edam for the CSG - it's a great way to make it edible.

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Re: Manchego ...offering to the smoke gods

Postby GUS » Mon Dec 23, 2013 7:43 pm

...wax on / wax off !?
(those amongst you who are young enough to get it, will hopefully forgive me for the poor film related pun) :roll:

just tried a zyliss adjustable cheese slicer which did a pretty ok job of wax removal leaving the cheese beneath intact. unwieldy, cumbersome but got the job done without any great problems.
http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/31EBoynNZnL._SX450_.jpg

blade not sharp, but did the job, not my favourite slicer but the thickness dial definitely made life easier.
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Re: Manchego ...offering to the smoke gods

Postby GUS » Mon Dec 23, 2013 7:47 pm

wheels wrote:Don't, just eat it! Get some rubbish Edam for the CSG - it's a great way to make it edible.

Phil



..Edam in there too, amazing what a bamboo skewer will support, currently got 2kg of assorted cheese in "presentin"

So why no smoke for Manchego Wheels? ...please elaborate, i'm keen to learn.
(any tips for the port salut? ..& incidentally I always thought the coating on port salut was edible, wife removes it (scrapes badly) ...who is right, not listed on packaging as being either edible or otherwise.
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Re: Manchego ...offering to the smoke gods

Postby vagreys » Mon Dec 23, 2013 10:23 pm

Idiazabal is a good Spanish cheese with a light, smoky finish. Since I'm allergic to cow cheese, Manchego is a staple in my house. If I were going to smoke Manchego, especially a young one, I wouldn't want it to be any smokier than a good Idiazabal.
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Re: Manchego ...offering to the smoke gods

Postby wheels » Mon Dec 23, 2013 10:38 pm

GUS wrote:...Edam in there too, amazing what a bamboo skewer will support, currently got 2kg of assorted cheese in "presentin"

So why no smoke for Manchego Wheels? ...please elaborate, i'm keen to learn.


Sorry, there's no reason why you shouldn't. It's just so nice 'as is' though. Oh well, I guess you can always buy double!

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Re: Manchego ...offering to the smoke gods

Postby GUS » Tue Dec 24, 2013 12:40 am

Wind so high it's blowing the CSG is completely out via storm backdraught.

Wheels, It's a large chunk, I promise not to give it more than a tickle to start with, (if this wind lets me).
There is about 3 hrs of smoke left on the csg, but I doubt it'll stay lit tonight, galeforce wind.

Wife kindly bought it for experimentation purposes, so really I must, lest I face more wrath than usual :twisted:
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Re: Manchego ...offering to the smoke gods

Postby wheels » Tue Dec 24, 2013 12:23 pm

GUS wrote:Wife kindly bought it for experimentation purposes, so really I must, lest I face more wrath than usual :twisted:


In that case, smoke away!

Phil :lol: :lol: :lol:
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Re: Manchego ...offering to the smoke gods

Postby onewheeler » Tue Dec 24, 2013 2:10 pm

Idiazabal, a great cheese and we seldom see it around here. As Tom says, keep it subtle and let the Manchego character shine through. I'm tempted to give it a go next time the smoker is on.

Happy winter festival!

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Re: Manchego ...offering to the smoke gods

Postby GUS » Fri Dec 27, 2013 12:49 pm

Well it's in the fridge & sealed, how long for d'ya reckon? ...less than normal as not to overwhelm the original taste, or leave a month to simply level off?
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Re: Manchego ...offering to the smoke gods

Postby wheels » Fri Dec 27, 2013 5:26 pm

I'd vac-pac it and try it every few days until either it was all gone, or until it got to a stage where I really liked it - then I'd sit in a corner and scoff the lot!

But, come on, we're not that daft, you're not trying to tell us that you didn't try a bit, are you?

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Re: Manchego ...offering to the smoke gods

Postby GUS » Sat Dec 28, 2013 11:51 am

...not a smokey sliver has yet passed my lips, (perhaps i'm a bit odd)? something to do with the run up to xmas through Easter(ish) being my self imposed frugal period, when I would have been training, (s'ok though I also ran up many years of excess too). :x
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Re: Manchego ...offering to the smoke gods

Postby vagreys » Sun Dec 29, 2013 5:35 am

As in brewing a new mead, I'd be tasting it over time to see how the flavors develop. If you find a sweet spot at a certain age, I guess you'll just have to make another sacrifice and see if you can reproduce it. That would be cool.
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Re: Manchego ...offering to the smoke gods

Postby GUS » Sun Dec 29, 2013 10:25 am

Vagreys, that makes sense but an open cheese is a definite liability to me, one that doesn't stand a chance once it's head s over the parapet.
I'm pre-conditioned to work it backwards I reckon, having compounds that are sharp straight off the smoke & yet to meld / balance not really my cup of tea, (ricotta an exception to the rule as it won't keep long).
So asides from vac bags being expensive & not the biggest fan of re-seals with the same bag, (they seem to fail thereafter)!? it seems prudent to either work less smoke into the product & rest it, working from a strong-to weak saturation, I guess I stand a mental note of 14p per bag (the scot in me) as to every lump I present to the smoke, multiple sealings could soon outstrip a lump of cheese itself, so I guess this way I'll get there in time, with less packaging wastage (which really irks me) ..cellophane / saran type is not recyclable in the uk so that is minimally used in this household, but it all costs to produce & I throw enough out that breaks my heart as to "waste" streams simply landfilled.
perhaps I need a slightly heated kitchen, poss affecting the seal strip (above10c) & better vac bags?
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Re: Manchego ...offering to the smoke gods

Postby GUS » Sun Dec 29, 2013 10:34 am

So does anyone have a file they keep to measure times in the smoke & maturation guidelines or simply written on the vac seal bag?
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