Grilled Tempeh & Veggie Fajitas w/ Homemade Cracked Black Pepper & Jalapeño Buttermilk Cheese

I’ve been slightly obsessed with simple homemade cheeses lately. It started with paneer, then ricotta, and now this easy buttermilk cheese. It’s hard to believe you can create amazing cheesy goodness with so few ingredients in such a short amount of time!

freshcheese

This buttermilk cheese is made with 3 simple ingredients and sets up in less than 20 minutes! I added diced pickled jalapenos and cracked black pepper to this cheese, but you can omit those or come up with a variety all your own. (I bet it would be fantastic with sun-dried tomatoes and fresh basil. Just sayin.) This cheese is also great plain, crumbled over a cracker and drizzled with some honey (as my sister and I ate Saturday! 🙂 ). The best part of this cheese? It’s similar to Halloumi in that it grills beautifully. There’s nothing I love more than grilled cheese, of any variety!

Cracked Black Pepper and Jalapeño Buttermilk Cheese

You need:

  • 4 cups whole milk (hormone free, grass-fed, organic, raw – if possible)
  • 1.5 cups buttermilk (^again – if possible)
  • 2 tsp pink Himalayan salt
  • 2 tbs diced pickled jalapenos (optional)
  • 1/2 tbs cracked black pepper (optional)
  • candy thermometer (if possible, if not you can eyeball it)

cheesecollage3

Add all ingredients to a large stock pot. Boil on medium-high heat for 8-10 minutes, stirring occasionally. (Side Note: Milk does not boil like water. Instead of rolling bubbles, you will know the milk is boiling when it gets nice and frothy.) If you have a candy thermometer, check to ensure the mixture reaches 180 degrees F. Don’t worry if you do not have a thermometer, as you will be able to see the curds and whey. After about 8 to 10 minutes, check the curds with a spoon. Pour into a cheesecloth-lined colander or strainer over a large bowl (or directly into the sink). Add the jalapenos and cracked black pepper and mix well.

cheesecollage1

Once the mixture is cool enough to touch, pull up each end of the cheesecloth. Twist and squeeze out as much liquid as you can. This is the whey. You can discard or save for other uses. (I’ve read people use this as a healthy addition to soups and sauces.) Once you squeeze out all the liquid you can manage, twist the cheesecloth and place cheese on the deepest plate you own. I like to layer all my other plates on top, but anything heavy will do. Let sit for at least 10 minutes and then allow to cool in the fridge. (If you’re in a hurry, you can even put the cheese in the fridge while it’s pressing, and it will be ready to use in 10 minutes flat!!)

cheesecollage2 Once cool, you can unwrap to see your beautiful cheese!!!! It’s great sliced, grilled, or crumbled on things. Which is why I made this spicy cheese to go with my grilled tempeh and veggie fajitas! 🙂

cheesecollage

Grilled Tempeh & Veggie Fajitas 

You Need:

tempehcollage

Marinate the tempeh and veggies 1 hour – overnight. The longer you allow the marinade to sink in, the better it will taste! Slice the tempeh into thin strips and marinate a bit longer while you grill your veggies. You can grill outside if the weather permits; I just used my new grill pan on the stove. (Did I mention my undying love for that thing yet?!) Grill veggies, tempeh, and cheese.

grilledcollage

Now, mash 3 avocados with the juice of 1 lime and a pinch of salt. (A pastry cutter works great for this!) Set aside. Now you can assemble your fajitas! Warm up the tortillas, then pile on veggies, tempeh, & cheese. Top with salsa and guacamole (and a bit more crumbled cheese). Devour!

fajitacollage

I hope you enjoy this recipe! Keep your eyes peeled as more cheese recipes (with even more recipes to utilize said cheese) are on their way! Until next time… 🙂

Namaste.

xo

*This post was shared on Wildcrafting Wednesday!

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