If you are a fan of fresh mozzarella or feta, you have no doubt found yourself with a container or two of somewhat cloudy water in which your precious cheese was packed. You could dispose of the salty, slightly creamy liquid by dumping it down the drain, or you could use it as a tasty cooking liquid.
Photo by Bill Holsinger-Robinson.
Besides adding it to soups and stocks, both mozzarella whey and feta brine can (and should) be added to your next batch of rice, whether you cook it on the stove or in a rice cooker. For the whey, just cook the rice however you usually would, using the whey in place of your usual plain tap water. The brine may need to be diluted depending on how salty it is. Mozzarella whey will impart a subtle, slightly creamy flavour to the batch, while feta brine will add a much more noticeable amount of funk and salt. (If you’re using feta brine, go ahead and omit any salt you would usually add to the pot, lest you overwhelm yourself with sodium.)
Beyond rice, both of these dairy-adjacent liquids can be added to pasta water, bread or pizza dough, and stock pots. Heck, if you save enough of it – store it in the freezer until you’ve gathered a couple of cups – feta brine makes an excellent base for a chicken marinade.
This is part of Eating Trash With Claire, a Lifehacker series where Claire Lower convinces you to transform your kitchen scraps into something edible and delicious.