Queso Blanco 1 gallon whole milk (raw works & tastes best...but if you don't have access...regular will work) 1/4 c. cider vinegar sea salt- to taste Heat your milk slowly in a large heavy pot until it reaches 180 degrees F. Turn off heat and stir in vinegar. Let sit for 10-15 minutes (you will see a thick mass of curds). Line a sieve with cheesecloth (folded over 4x) or butter muslin. Set the sieve over a very large bowl and scoop or pour your curd into the lined sieve. Save this leftover liquid (whey) to make ricotta (which I'll show you another day), use in baking bread or pouring over your compost pile or into your garden. Lift the sieve from the bowl and place over an empty bowl. Fold over the edges. Place a small plate and some weights on top (to help press out extra whey). Refrigerate for 5-7 hours.Remove from the refrigerator and use any whey in the bottom of the bowl as you used the previous whey.Remove the plate & weight. Peel back the cheesecloth and place cheese in a bowl. Stir in sea salt to taste, if you wish. Kind of a strange way to add the cheese, right? Well, I just sprinkled it over the outsides. I think it needed a bit more salt...I wonder if you could add it earlier in the process with good results? I'll try it next time.You'll notice that I made mine in a regular old metal strainer, but you can use a cheese mold if you have one. I just ordered and received some from The Cheesemaker, but I really wanted a nice, rustic (my favorite food-related word) "disc" of cheese for this one. Unmold your cheese onto a plate or cutting board and use it within a day or two (in my opinion).
How should I use my queso blanco you ask? My favorite way is with Mexican food...like this Torta con Milanesa de Pollo...Go on over and check out Natashya's Queso Blanco here!
*Queso Blanco, while fresh, is not to be confused with Queso Fresco. Queso fresco is made by using rennet & cultures and will yield a similar cheese...but it is a bit firmer in my opinion. Plus, it'll melt if ya try. I'll make Queso Fresco soon...promise Dani.
"Blessed are the cheesemakers." -Monty Python