Step 1: Tools + Ingredients
A 5 quart or larger stove-safe pot
Stirrer (stainless/silicone preferred)
A thermometer with an 80-150°F range
long knife (doesn't need to be sharp, just long, ~ 8" works great)
liquid measuring cup
sieve - yours doesn't need a handle
thick rubbery gloves. I use "True Blues," though silicone oven mitts work also. You'll be handling 135°F cheese with these, so don't use the thin kitchen sink kind unless you want a scalding
1 gallon milk - it *cannot* be ultra-pasturized. I use organic whole milk, regularly pasturized. Check the carton for the label.
Citric acid - available at cheese-making supply shops, or check your local bulk or refrigerator section of a Co-op or similar store
Rennet - available at cheese-making supply shops, or check with a local vegetarian-friendly store
Chlorine-free water (set yours out a day ahead if you plan to use plain tap water to let the chlorine evaporate)
For the "zombie" part:
angel hair pasta
wine (not necessary, but makes a tasty addition to the sauce)
Step 2: Begin the Mozzarella
Dissolve 1 1/2 teaspoon citric acid in 1 cup water
Pour the gallon of milk into the pot, and add the citric acid water while stirring. Continue to stir while heating the mixture to 90°F
Take off the heat, add the dissolved rennet, and stir vigorously for 30 seconds. Cover and let sit for 5 minutes.
Cut the curds in about 1" strips, then cut cross-wise and again at an angle. Your goal is to get 1" chunks of cheese. Don't worry if it doesn't work - mozzarella is very forgiving.
Heat while stirring to 105°F, then take off heat and continue to stir for 3-5 minutes longer.
Step 3: Finishing the Mozzarella
Knead together to form one mass. If it doesn't all stick together, don't worry. Give it another round in the microwave, but this time for 30 seconds. Repeat straining and kneading. If it has reached 135°F, it should become smooth and elastic, like string cheese! If not, keep repeating in 30 second or shorter intervals.
And there you have it - mozzarella! You could stop here if you want just plain mozzarella, but the fun is just about to begin... ;)
Step 4: Zombie Face Shaping
Working in a shallow bowl, form the mozzarella into an egg-shaped oval. Using a spoon, form the eyes by pressing one edge of the spoon firmly into the mozzarella. Continue, using the edge of the spoon (see photos), until you have formed two eyes.
Pinch a nose just below the eyes.
Make a slit a little below the nose for the mouth.
For additional details, pinch at the base for a chin, then again pinch both sides of the face where the cheeks are for a gaunt look.
Open the mouth by putting your fingers in and pinching on the top and bottom edge for a bit of a lip.
Don't worry if your face isn't perfect - remember, it's a zombie!
Step 5: Make the Sauce
In a small pot, add 1 Tbs olive oil.
Chop 1 onion and 2 cloves garlic. Add to pot and heat on med-low heat till browned
Deglaze the pan with wine. Repeat several times
Add canned tomatoes. and salt
Simmer till thickened.
Step 6: Assemble Your Zombie!
Add the mozzarella zombie head
Add balsamic vinegar to the head, pooling in crevices (eyes, mouth etc.)
Make some incisions on the cheek, chin and forehead and then make many smaller perpendicular incisions along it to simulate a stitched gash, then pour balsamic vinegar into the gashes to make them show.
Place marinara sauce in several areas for "blood"
Add two peppercorns for pupils.