Based on a recipe by Miyoko Schinner, this pepper jack cheese recipe is easily adaptable to your favorite flavors.
- 1 cup raw, unsalted cashews
- 1 cup rejuvelac, sauerkraut juice, or whey
- 1 teaspoon sea salt
- 2-3 roasted jalapenos, seeded, peeled, and chopped
- 2 tablespoons dried chives
- 1/8 teaspoon ground turmeric
- 1 tablespoon nutritional yeast
- 1/2 cup plus 2 tablespoons room-temperature water
- 1 tablespoon agar agar powder
- 2 tablespoons tapioca starch
- Combine the cashews, rejuvelac/sauerkraut juice/whey, salt, turmeric, and nutritional yeast in a blender. Process until completely smooth.
- Pour into a jar. Cover with a lid and set on the counter for 1-2 days, until the mixture has thickened, developed bubbles, and has a tangy smell.
- Place 1/2 cup water in a small pan. Whisk in the agar. Cover, and simmer over low heat for 3 or 4 minutes. Don't peek. Then check to see if the agar agar has dissolved completely. If not, let it simmer a couple minutes more.
- Stir the cheese mixture into the dissolved agar agar. Mix well.
- Make a slurry with 2 tablespoons of water and the tapioca starch. Stir into the cheese.
- Stir vigorously until the mixture is thick, shiny, and stretchy. Stir in the peppers and chives.
- Pour into a mold and let cool on the counter until cool. Place in the refrigerator until completely cook and set.
- Unmold and place on a rack on the counter for a day or 2 to create a "rind," flipping often.
- Store refrigerated, wrapped in plastic or cheese paper. It should keep for up to 2 weeks.
Nutritional yeast is not the same as bread yeast or brewer's yeast. Only use nutritional yeast in this recipe.
How long it takes to culture, cool, and create a rind depends on many things, including ambient temperature. Times given are a guideline.