Adapted from Cheesemaking Made Easy, by Ricki Carroll and Robert Carroll, this is an easy way to make your own cheese! Queso blanco is a Latin American cheese. The name means white cheese. There are many variations of this cheese throughout Latin America. It is hard and rubbery, with a bland, sweet flavor. It is excellent for cooking, and has the unique property of not melting even if deep-fried. A similar cheese, Panir, is made in India, and there are many delicious Indian recipes using this cheese. It is easy to make, and is an excellent choice if you are in a hurry or if the weather is very hot, a condition which causes problems in the making of many cheeses. Queso blanco is often diced into half-inch cubes. That way it can be used in many ways, stir-fried with vegetables, added to soups or sauces (such as spaghetti), or used in Chinese cooking as a substitute for bean curd. It browns nicely and takes on the flavor of the food and spices in the recipe. Cook time is an estimate.
For 1 1/2 to 2 pounds of cheese
- 1 gallon whole milk
- 1⁄4 cup vinegar
- Over a direct source of heat warm 1 gallon of milk to 180 degrees F., stirring often to keep it from scorching. Maintain this temperature for several minutes. Slowly add vinegar until the curds separate from the whey. Usually 1/4 cup of vinegar will precipitate 1 gallon of milk.
- Pour the curds and whey into a cheesecloth-lined colander. Tie the four corners of the cheesecloth into a knot and hang to drain for several hours or until the bag of curds stops dripping. Take the mass of curds out of the cheesecloth. It will be a solid bag of curd. It may be wrapped in plastic wrap and stored in the refrigerator until needed. It will keep up to 1 week.
This was great fun to make!!I halved the recipe and I had to add a bit more vinegar before the curds wanted to seperate. I also added salt, pepper, chives and oregano. The cheese came out nice and firm but crumbled a bit when slicing it..I got a bit worried at that point but it all worked out fine in the end. Half of the cheese I fried and the other half I crumbled and added to the spinach and pea mixture whilst cooking. If you look at the picture you can see it resembles a cottage cheese mixture. When I served the dish I topped it with the fried cubes of cheese. Thanks Sharon for sharing this recipe!
What do you know--queso blanco--with no trouble whatsoever. Now that I've made it once, I can't wait to make it again, adding flavorings, herbs, pepper, salt, the mind boggles! Thanks, Sharon.