Tuesday, March 30, 2010

I Made Cheese!!! Homemade Queso Blanco

Crazy!  I know.  Some people are probably saying, "Why would you make your own cheese?"  My answer would be, "Because I can!" 
I've seen a lot of posts about making cheese lately and I'm also reading Barbara Kingsolver's book Vegetable, Animal, Miracle. She has a part in her book about her adventures making cheese. I knew that I had to try it!
My son was helping me in the beginning but got a little bored and frustrated with the process. The milk wasn't curdling fast enough for him (or me, for that matter). I added a little more vinegar and it curdled much faster.

The result: The cheese didn't have a lot of flavor. I put it into my corn and black bean salsa and it really didn't add that much flavor. If I'm going to add fat and extra calories to my food, it needs to improve the food somehow.

I will probably try this again but add some fresh garlic and peppers or something to it and see how it turns out. My next cheese adventure might just be mozzarella! I will let you know!

Queso blanco
from Homesick Texan


One gallon of whole milk, can use pasteurized or raw but don't use ultrapasteurized
1/2 cup of lime juice (about four limes) or 1/4 cup of white vinegar
Salt to taste


Heat the milk in a non-aluminum pot on medium-low heat for about 10 minutes or until it looks like it’s just about to boil (but don’t let it boil!). If you’re using a thermometer, the temperature should be 185 degrees.

Add the lime juice. The curds will separate from the whey and the mixture will look grainy, kind of like you’ve just thrown a bunch of corn meal into a pot of skim milk. Let it simmer for a couple of minutes.

Pour the pot’s contents into a cheesecloth-lined colander and let it drain for a couple of minutes.

Sprinkle the curds with salt (you can go saltier than you normally would as a lot of the salt will drain from the cheese as it dries). Now is the time to add any herbs, spices and/or chopped chiles.

Gather the curds in the center, tie the cheesecloth’s ends and hang the cloth on the faucet so it can drain for a few hours.

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