Raw Macadamia Nut Cheese
Makes 1 log about 2 1/2 inches in diameter and 6 inches in length.
2 cups raw macadamia nuts
1/2 cup purified water
2 probiotic capsules
1/4 teaspoon sea salt
1 teaspoon mellow white miso
1 teaspoon umeboshi paste (optional)
3 teaspoons freshly squeezed lemon juice
Soak the macadamia nuts in purified water for 3-4 hours.
Drain the water from the nuts and transfer them to the bowl of a blender.
In a small bowl, combine the contents of the probiotic capsules with 1/2 cup of purified water. Add the mixture to the nuts in the blender.
Blend the nut and probiotic mixture until it is velvety smooth.
Line a fine mesh strainer with a nut milk bag or double layer of cheese cloth that has been moistened with water. Set the lined strainer over a work bowl.
*I used a nut milk bag for the initial straining and transferred it into cheese cloth after about 8 hours so it would drain better.
Use a spatula to transfer the nut puree into the lined strainer. Loosely tie the mixture in the nut milk bag or cheese cloth, and put it in a cool dark place such as a walk in closet or cabinet for 12-24 hours.
The cheese will be ready after 12 hours, but I like to allow it to ferment at room temperature for 24 during the cooler months of the year. The added time will give the cheese a bit more tang as well.
Transfer the mixture to a fresh work bowl and mix in the miso paste, salt, and lemon juice. If you are using the umeboshi paste, add it in now as well. If not, you may want to add an extra 1/2 teaspoon of miso paste. Give it a taste before adding it in as you can always do so. At this point, you may also add more lemon juice if needed.
Lay a piece of kitchen parchment on a flat surface and transfer the mixture to it so it can be formed into log. It can be used at this point if you wish, but if you want the mixture to firm up as a ‘cheese’, continue with the next simple step.
Roll the paper over the mixture, twist the ends, and refrigerate for another 12-24 hours.
After another 12-24 hours of refrigerated fermentation and drying, the cheese will firm up to a nice consistency. Open the package and carefully slice it for use with the following recipe.
You can also roll the log in freshly chopped soft herbs such as tarragon, chervil, parsley, or chives and serve it with a salad or other vegetables.
The ‘cheese’ will continue to slowly ferment in the refrigerator. It is best tasting within the first 4 days and should be discarded after about 8 days depending on the refrigeration.
Macadamia Cheese Tartines with Shitake Mushrooms and Micro Greens
Serves 4
1 leek, white part only, halved and thinly sliced
4-8 depending on size shitake mushrooms, stems removed and thinly sliced
1 teaspoon olive oil
splash white wine (optional)
  sea salt
  freshly ground black pepper
  Macadamia Nut Cheese (recipe above)
  whole grain bread
  micro greens, use what is available to you, I used arugula
Gently heat the olive oil, in a medium size saute pan over medium low heat. Add the prepared leeks and sprinkle with a bit of sea salt. Cook for a few minutes until they begin to soften.
Add the mushrooms, stir to incorporate and allow to cook undisturbed for 3-5 minutes. Give them another stir, and if using, deglaze the pan with a splash of white wine. Remove from the heat.
Thinly slice the grain bread. Spread about a teaspoon of the macadamia nut cheese onto each slice. Use tongs to top each slice with the mushroom mixture. Sprinkle with the micro greens and serve immediately.