Mekitsi and Fresh Cheese Recipe

Ingredients

For Mekitsi:

  • 3 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup plain yogurt
  • 1 large egg
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 tablespoon sugar
  • 1 tablespoon vegetable oil (plus extra for frying)
  • 1/2 cup warm water (as needed)

For Fresh Cheese:

  • 4 cups whole milk
  • 1/4 cup lemon juice or white vinegar
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt

Instructions

Mekitsi:

  1. Prepare the Dough:
  • In a large mixing bowl, combine the yogurt, egg, baking soda, salt, sugar, and 1 tablespoon of vegetable oil. Mix well.
  • Gradually add the flour, mixing with a wooden spoon or your hands until a soft dough forms. Add warm water as needed to achieve a smooth and pliable dough.
  • Knead the dough on a lightly floured surface for about 5-7 minutes until smooth and elastic.
  • Cover the dough with a clean kitchen towel and let it rest for at least 30 minutes.
  1. Shape and Fry the Mekitsi:
  • After the dough has rested, divide it into small balls, about the size of a golf ball.
  • On a lightly floured surface, roll each ball into a thin, round shape, about 1/4 inch thick.
  • Heat about 2 inches of vegetable oil in a deep frying pan or pot over medium-high heat until it reaches 350°F (175°C).
  • Fry the dough rounds in batches, turning occasionally, until they are golden brown and puffed up (about 2-3 minutes per side).
  • Remove the mekitsi with a slotted spoon and drain on paper towels.

Fresh Cheese:

  1. Prepare the Cheese:
  • In a large pot, heat the milk over medium heat until it reaches a gentle boil, stirring occasionally to prevent scorching.
  • Once the milk begins to boil, add the lemon juice or white vinegar and stir gently. The milk will curdle and separate into curds and whey.
  • Remove the pot from heat and let it sit undisturbed for about 10 minutes to allow the curds to form completely.
  1. Drain and Shape the Cheese:
  • Line a colander with a clean cheesecloth or a thin kitchen towel and place it over a large bowl.
  • Pour the curdled milk into the colander to drain the whey. Let it drain for about 10-15 minutes.
  • Gather the corners of the cheesecloth and twist to form a bundle, squeezing out any remaining whey.
  • Transfer the cheese to a bowl and mix in the salt.
  • If you prefer a firmer texture, you can place a weight on the wrapped cheese and let it sit for an additional 1-2 hours.
  1. Serve:
  • Serve the warm mekitsi with a generous dollop of fresh cheese. Optionally, you can drizzle with honey or sprinkle with powdered sugar for added sweetness.

Enjoy your homemade mekitsi and fresh cheese!

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