New Orleans Cuisine

My Creole & Cajun Recipe Page

This is my blog dedicated to New Orleans & Louisiana cooking! I'll give links to great Creole & Cajun recipes and sites, as well as some of my own recipes. I love talkin' New Orleans, food and otherwise! Incidentally, I'm from Detroit. Go Figure. Lets just say I figured out "what it means, to miss New Orleans" and this site helps ease the pain.

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"Leaving New Orleans also frightened me considerably. Outside of the city limits the heart of darkness, the true wasteland begins."
-Ignatius J. Reilly from A Confederacy of Dunces

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Monday, April 04, 2005

Creole Cream Cheese

Creole Cream Cheese used to be widely available in New Orleans, over time however it became nearly impossible to find, and never outside of Louisiana. It's a soft cheese eaten as a breakfast treat, sprinkled with sugar, covered with cream or half & half, and usually fresh fruit. This is what The Picayune's Creole Cookbook of 1901 had to say about the subject:

Cream Cheese is always made from clabbered milk. The 'Cream Cheese Woman' is still as common a sight on our New Orleans streets as the Cala Woman was in the days gone by. She carries a covered basket in which are a number of small perforated tins in which the Cheeses are. In her other hand she carries a can of fresh Cream. She sells her wares to her regular customers, for the old Creoles who do not make their own Cream Cheese are very particular as to whom they buy from, and when once a good careful, clean woman gets a 'customer' she keeps her during her period of business, coming every fast day and Friday with her Cheese and Cream, for this is a great fast-day breakfast and luncheon dish.

The "Cream Cheese Woman" has long ago gone the way of the "Cala Woman", but fortunately for me, I enjoy making it myself. It's a fairly long but very simple process; combined, about 10 minutes of actual work. Rennet is a coagulating enzyme which comes from a young animal's stomach, but their are also vegetable varieties. It comes in liquid or tablet form, I use the liquid animal variety. Although I had a hard time finding it in my area, you may find it in tablet form in the baking aisle at your grocer. If not, do what I did and order it from Cheese Supply(dot)com. The shipping is a little steep for just a small item, so I ordered some Manchego, Cheesecloth, and a few other items to pad the bill. The recipe:

Creole Cream Cheese Recipe

2 Quarts Skim Milk
1/4 Cup Buttermilk
8 drops Liquid Rennet or 2 tablets

Combine the skim and buttermilk in a good sized saucepan. Over medium heat bring the mixture to 110 degrees F, stirring occasionally. Pour the heated mixture into a large, non-metal bowl. Add the rennet, stir and cover with cheesecloth. Let stand at room temperature for 24 hours. After 24 hours their should be chunks (Curds) and liquid (Whey), try to keep Miss Muffet at bay. Line a colander with a double layer of cheesecloth, spoon the curds into the colander, try to keep them intact. Let this drain for 1 hour or until it is one solid piece. Discard the Whey, or make Ricotta, which is made from cooked Whey. I haven't tried it yet, but next time I will. Place gently into a bowl and keep in the refrigerator for up to 2 weeks. Serve with sugar, half & half, and fresh fruit.

*New* I have another recipe for Creole Cream Cheese that says you cannot use Homogenized milk. I'll have to locate some to see if there is any difference in the finished product. The same recipe states you can substitute reconstituted dry skim milk. Another variation in this recipe is the use of Plain Yogurt as the culture, in place of the buttermilk. I will post when I try this.

There are some companies making this product:

Chef John Folse's Bittersweet Plantation Dairy
Mauthe's Creole Cream Cheese, although their website isn't working.


Blogger Carolyn said...

Thank you for the recipe for cream cheese--this is an ingredient in the iced cheese I plan to make later.

9:33 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

You talk about the use of homogenized milk making Creole Cream Cheese. I did what you did and ordered rennet but I also ordered an ingredient they tout for use with homogenized milk when making cheeses like the basis for Creole Cream Cheese (cottage cheese types).

5:05 AM  
Blogger Le Saint Chapelet said...

You can get unhomogenized milk (and ccc made from it) here:

5:26 PM  
Blogger gwendeleon said...

In addition to having unhomogenized milk, Smith's Dairy also makes the best creole cream cheese. Neither Mauthe's nor Folse's Bittersweet Farms is at all like the creole cream cheese I grew up with in New Orleans. The curd is in very small pieces and distributed equally throughout a liquid, which is not cream. I have a feeling they do not drain the whey. Smith's is a solid, rich curd surrounded by delicious cream -- just like the creole cream cheese that came in the old waxed paper pint cartons of my childhood.

11:51 AM  
Anonymous katie said...

In response to gwendeleon. I totally disagree. I think that the TRUE Mauthe's Creole Cream Cheese is the best. I could get the cream cheese from Cresent City Farmers Market before Hurricane Katrina. I miss it dearly but hear that it is on the come back!! We are very excited to get our old style creole cream cheese back...

3:14 PM  
Blogger Nee said...

my mom and I make this on a regular basis and use homogenized milk from the store with no problems. The only time my mom has ever had a problem was when it was extremely hot one day and humid (I know not unusual in New Orleans).

7:14 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Rousses carries creole cheese for 4 dollars ...

3:54 PM  
Anonymous Max said...

When they say not to use homogenized milk, I believe they mean not to use whole milk. Skim milk is the only milk you should use when making creole cream cheese

7:11 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Why a non-metal bowl?

8:12 PM  

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