Queso Blanco is a great cheese for a beginning cheese maker to start with. It is quick, and requires very few steps to make. It is a Latin American cheese whose name means “white cheese”. The cheese comes out hard and rubbery with a bland, but sweet flavor. One of my favorite things to do with it is cut it into cheese sticks and deep fry it. Because of the way it is made this cheese will not melt. Which makes it an excellent cheese to use as you would tofu. It will take on the flavor of whatever you cook it with, and browns up like burger does when it is sautes.
This cheese is made in a process where you use a natural acid and it causes all the protein in the milk to curd at a high temperature. This is a great cheese to make with children. To them it seems like magic when the milk separates to curds and whey in less than a minute.
- 1 Gallon Whole milk
- 1/4 cup vinegar
- 1-3 tsp salt. Experiment and add to taste.
1. Heat your milk slowly up to 185° F stirring often. You have to be very careful of not scorching the bottom of the pan. I did that once and it gave the cheese a burnt flavor.
2. Once you are at 185° F slowly add your vinegar while you are stirring. The curds will separate out fairly quickly as you pour. After you first see your curds start to form let sit for five minutes then stir for another five minutes to keep the curds from matting together (if you don’t have all of the curds separate out you can add another 1/4 Cup of vinegar) One gallon of milk will give you about 1 1/2-2 lbs of cheese if you are using whole milk. I have made a fat-free version using skim milk. but you get about half the amount of cheese as you would from the whole milk. The fat-free style is good for those of us working on keeping to a lower fat diet.
3. Pour your curds and whey into a cheesecloth lined colander to separate them out. Be careful when you do this as the mix is still extremely hot. Then tie up the corners of your cloth and hang to drain. You can hang for 10-30 minutes for a drier cheese if you intend to press your curds in your cheese mold this will give a nice firm cheese. If pressing, put in the mold at 25 lbs for 30 minutes then flip and repress at the same weight for another 5 hours. If you do not have a press tie up the corners of your cloth and hang for 2-3 hours. Then slice and enjoy. Before you put it in the mold you can also add spices to it and mix it up with a spoon. I prefer using some dried chili flakes in it. Makes a quick spicy snack.