Homemade soft cheese
I have made only one type of cheese. Why only one, you ask? The reason is that this recipe is so easy! I would love to learn how to branch out and try making some hard cheeses, but that would mean I would have to wait for the cheese to age! Which means, I will be that much older when I get to eat it. I don't know if I can wait that long!
This homemade cheese reminds me of the way that you can crumble goat cheese on a salad or over a hot skillet of garden goodness! Isn't life good? You can also press it into a ball in order to slice it.
I followed the recipe that I have in my invaluable book called "Home Dairy" by Ashley English. This book has beautiful pictures and easy to follow recipes! "Home Dairy" walks you through each step of her recipes. Love it! I need books in my house that I can look at. That is why every now and then, I will give you a tiny book report on the books that I have in my home that have helped me on my, "provide food for my family journey." When the internet is acting up, or my computer is on the fritz, I need info on paper, in the form of books!
This soft cheese is called Queso Blanco. This is what you will need for ingredients:
1 gallon whole raw goat's or raw cow's milk.
5 Tablespoons apple cider vinegar.
1. Slowly warm milk to 175 to 180 degrees in a saucepan. Watch the temperature with a thermometer that hangs down into your saucepan.
2. When you get your temperature to 175 degrees, hold the milk at that temp for 10 to 12 minutes. Stir often so the milk will not scald.
3. Add the 5 Tablespoons of vinegar, slowly, continuously stirring. Within 5 to 10 minutes you will see curds begin to form. That is what you want. Curds are the solid bits. The liquid is called the whey.
4. Ladle the curds into a colander, or drainer lined with a clean kitchen tea towel (tea towel is the way to go) or doubled up cheese cloth. Let it sit for 3 to 5 hours until the dripping of whey stops. I like to gather it into a ball with the cloth to press the liquid out during this time. It will form into a more firm ball of cheese that you can slice.
This is very mild and I strongly urge you to add sea salt to suit your taste. You can add all kinds of flavors like; chili powder, chopped peppers, dried tomatoes, dill weed, etc. The possibilities are endless! My picture is with fresh chives added to the curds when the whey was mostly done dripping; but before I pressed it into a hard ball of cheese. Put into lidded container and put into fridge. This cheese will get even more solid when it cools in the fridge.
I hope you try this! Let me know how it goes!