Queso Blanco is the easiest of all cheeses to make in my opinion- great for beginners and kids!
To use this cheese in salads I drizzle a little olive oil in a cast iron pan, sprinkle the cheese with salt, pepper, sometimes chili powder (any herbs and spices you like), brown it (it uniquely doesn’t melt, just browns and gets soft and chewy) and then add the crusty warm chunks to our salads. Use any dressing you enjoy. SO GOOD and a full meal!
1 gallon of whole or lowfat milk cow or goat milk– regular grocery store pasteurized is fine but NOT ultra or ultra heat pasteurized.
1/4-1/2 cup of vinegar (I use apple cider but any will work though they all give their own flavor) or 2 tspn citric acid dissolved in 1/4 cup of water (for citric acid or a complete Queso Blanco and Paneer Kit visit our SHOP)
1-2 teaspoons salt (to taste- at this point you can also add chives, fresh chopped herbs, cayenne, anything!)
Heat the milk to a foamy, steamy simmer. Do not allow to boil or your cheese will taste cooked and will be rubbery. If you have a thermometer it would be between 180-195 degrees F. Be sure to stir often to prevent scorching.
When you see steam and foam and a gentle simmer, turn the temp to low and slowly drizzle in your vinegar. You may not need it all before you start seeing the clear separation between curds and whey. It’s like magic! When you see it, stop the drizzle and cook for about 10 seconds longer.
Turn off the heat and ladle or pour your curds into a colander lined with butter muslin or cheesecloth (or a boiled tea towel or even a large coffee filter, if you use regular grocery store cheesecloth, triple it at least, the holes are very large). Allow to drain for 20 minutes or so.
Then take your cloth corners and gently twist more whey out of the bundle. Open it up and mix in your salt. Stir it in evenly and taste until you like it.
For a softer cheese, hang this from a hook or faucet and let it drain for another hour or so (place a bowl underneath to catch the whey). You now have a cheese that can be called a fresh cheese, bag cheese, farmer cheese or in our case, Queso Blanco.
For a nice firm cheese that you can cut up and use as a meat replacement (like tofu), place the bundle back in the colander, put a plate on top of it and then fill the empty gallon of milk with water and use it as a weight on top of the plate.
Let this sit and continue to drain for 1 more hour or until the cheese is as firm as you like it. Then it’s ready to eat fresh and soft as is or cover and refrigerate. It firms up more in the fridge. Enjoy!”