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Pulled Fresh Mozzarella

1 pound Mozzarella curd (find it in the gourmet cheese department at your grocery store; you might
     also be able to get a free video from Mozzarella Fresca with instructions for making this)
hot water - about 2 quarts at 180-185 degrees
bowl of ice water

Optional: sun-dried tomatoes, pepperoni or other thinly sliced smoked sausage, fresh basil, dried herbs or whatever you want to use as a filling; mixed greens and balsamic vinaigrette for garnish

Cut the Mozzarella curd into small pieces, about 1/2-inch cubes. Place in large glass bowl. Heat water to 180-185 degrees, adding enough salt to make it similar to salt water for gargling.

Pour salted water over the cubed Mozzarella curd just enough to cover; let it sit a few seconds and stir 1-2 times very gently. The cheese will begin to "knit" or melt together. Using a slotted spoon, gather the cheese together as it "knits," forming a clump. Taking the cheese in your hands, fold it in thirds, stretching out as though you are pulling taffy. Fold again and stretch, repeating 2-4 times. Cheese should be smooth - don't pull too hard, work it gently. If you stretch it too much the cheese will become tough. Dip into the water each time before stretching. (If you're making a rope to braid as described below, let it hang as you gently stretch it and gravity will take over.)

When the Mozzarella has been stretched, shape it gently into smooth balls (walnut-sized to egg-sized or larger), sealing the edges. Or, to make a roulade, spread it out flat on a plastic-wrap-covered cookie sheet.  Top sparingly with thinly sliced pepperoni, sun-dried tomatoes, herbs, or whatever other ingredients you wish, leaving some space on the edges so it will stick together. Roll up (similar to a jelly roll) inside the plastic wrap (cheese should still be warm) and tie off the ends of the plastic wrap. Place roulade (or the Mozzarella balls) into ice water.

Slice the roulade diagonally and serve on a bed of mixed greens. Top with your favorite balsamic vinaigrette.

  • You can also shape the fresh Mozzarella into a braid by stretching one long rope - hold the rope of cheese so that it hangs in three sections, and then braid the three sections together, fastening the ends. Place in ice water to set the shape.

Dorothy & Jay Harris - Copyright 2004-2005