Monday, March 18, 2013

Cheese and Friends

Another wonderful thing about cheese is the process can be enjoyed by all!  A quick and easy recipe shown to me by my good friend Johanna, passed down from generation to generation to generation until arriving with her.  The cheese... Queso Fresco.  A Mexican cheese meaning "fresh cheese" it is commonly eaten atop tacos, but as we like it atop crackers over sparkling conversation.  The recipe is simply this:
Cheese cloth
1 Gallon Whole milk
First steps are so easy I forgot to take a picture... sorry.
 Put 1 gallon milk into large non-reactive pot.  Put on medium-high heat.  Add rennet for the amount of the milk.  We used a ladle with a bit of milk and crushed the tablet inside, then added it to the milk. 
Temperature didn't seem to be too big a deal for this one, but after adding the rennet don't stop stirring! Stir for a little bit while the cheese warms up... you will notice little curds starting to form.  (Not like the mozzarella curd becaues we constantly stirred it.  It wont be a layer, but a ton of small curdlings)
After a couple minutes of stirring the curds, when all of them seem to have formed pour the curds out into the cheese cloth.
(see why it is good to have friends?)
Now you can all take turns squeezing out the rest of the whey!
 After you have squeezed most of the whey out, salt the curds.
The curd should be sticky enough to form into a cheese shape.
Queso Fresco!!! Crumbly enough to separate and put on your favorite Mexican dish, or firm enough to cut and eat on crackers!  Thanks for joining me in my cheese making friends!  (The book displayed to the right can be found here... Artisan Cheese Making at Home: Techniques & Recipes for Mastering World-Class Cheeses.  My next post will be out of this book.  I read all the reviews and it seems to be the best for the "beginning cheesemonger").
Friends and CHEESE!!