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cheesemaking part 2

May 5th, 2011 at 08:13 pm

So part 1 was yogurt, which was pretty easy once you figure out how to get the right temperature to hold the milk and yogurt culture.

Part 2 - I've expanded to include queso blanca, a white cheese made with milk and vinegar. Easiest recipe ever! I got the milk for $1.89/half gallon + a few pennies of apple cider vinegar and it made at least 1/2 lb of cheese.

Queso blanca

1/2 gallon of whole pasteurized (not ultra-pasteurized) milk
2 tbsp vinegar. I followed the recipe and used apple cider vinegar, so I don't know how well other vinegars work.

Heat milk in a saucepan to 185 - 195F. Direct heat, right on the burner. Stir often so the bottom doesn't scorch.

Take milk off heat. Add vinegar a bit at a time until milk curdles - forms a white precipitate/curd and a slightly yellowish whey. I halved the recipe I referred to (1 gallon milk/ 1/4 c vinegar), which worked. The recipe also stated that if it doesn't curdle, you can add a bit more vinegar.

I let it cool for about 20 minutes - not sure whether curds increase as you leave it, but I figured that it wouldn't hurt much.

Pour curds and whey into jelly bag, let the whey drain off. Leave the curds in the bag for a couple of hours to firm up the cheese. Can twist the jelly bag to really get the whey out. This cheese needs a bit of salt.

So far, the cheese spreads okay on bread and crackers, great crumbled into a salad, and heats up very well - I'll bet it will be great as a ricotta substitute...like in a lasagna.

3 Responses to “cheesemaking part 2”

  1. LuckyRobin Says:

    Oh, you should try making the Indian cheese paneer. It's just as simple. It uses milk and yogurt, or if you don't have yogurt, milk and lemon juice. It's a bit more solid than queso blanca with a slightly different flavor.

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/food/recipes/paneer_86451

  2. MonkeyMama Says:

    Funny, because I was going to say we have actually made cheese before. Paneer. Easier than you would imagine it to be.

  3. baselle Says:

    Ooh, I'll have to try that ... especially with the heavy block press step. I was wondering how paneer got dense enough to cut into cubes.

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