Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Say Cheese...?

So today I made cheese...I actually, from scratch, made a block of cheese. How cool is that?

The cheese I made was Queso Blanco, a cheese that doesn't melt and can be fried and grilled. This method is also used to make Paneer, but you skip the salt step.

It was surprisingly easy and can be made from ingredients that you likely have in your kitchen.

You Will Need:

  • 1 Gallon of Milk (I ended up unable to use the full gallon as my pan was not big enough)
  • 1/4-1/2 Cup of Vinegar (I used Apple Cider Vinegar)
  • Salt to taste
  • Cheesecloth

Pour your entire gallon of milk into your pan and heat until foamy and slightly simmering. Whilst the milk is heating up you can prepare the cheesecloth over the colander. Like so:

Once your milk has reached it's foamy, simmering state turn down the heat and drizzle in your vinegar. When you do this the curds will start to separate from the whey. You may not need all your vinegar. I made the mistake of using all the vinegar suggested...i.e too much, which has made it a little stinky and a little tart.

It should look like this:

Heat for another 10 seconds or so and remove from the heat. Ladle the separated curds into your cheesecloth lined colander and leave to drain for about 20 minutes. It should look like so:

After 20 minutes pick up the corners of the cheesecloth and wring out the remaining whey. Add your salt to taste. And actually taste. I made the mistake of not tasting and was way too frugal with my salt. Don't be afraid of the salt! Mix in the salt thoroughly.

Tie the corners of your cheesecloth to create a loop and hang from somewhere, a faucet (tap) is ideal. Like so:

After an hour the cheese is technically ready to eat! However if you wish to cook with it or want a firmer cheese then pop your bundle back into the colander and weight it down. The tutorial I used suggested putting a plate over the cheese and filling the empty milk bottle with water and using that as a weight. I didn't use all my milk and didn't have a plate small enough to fit in my colander so I just filled a jug with water and put it on top!

Leave for 1-2 hours and voila - Queso Blanco - cheese! Eat right away or refrigerate immediately (which will firm in furthur) Finished cheese is pictured at the very top of this post!

I found this recipe on the Urban Cheesecraft blog, she also has an Etsy store selling kits to make this whole process EVEN easier.... I will certainly be trying out some other cheeses after this!

1 comment:

Renee[Q][C] said...

Cool Post! can't wait to try it =)