# of divers

Monday, May 7, 2012

The Making of Queso Fresco: Pressed Cheese 101

Not to be a "I made it myself-er', but I'm going to be one. 
You, see I've made a pressed cheese. With my raw, bare hands. Using a recipe available from my cheese club website, Queso Diego here:

Beginning with the following ingredients:

2 gallons whole milk 
1 tsp liquid calcium chloride diluted in 2 Tbsp water
1 packet direct set mesophilic culture 
1/8 – ¼ tsp lipase dissolved in ¼ cup water (optional; will give a tangier flavor) 
¼ tablet rennet or ¼ tsp liquid rennet dissolved in ¼ cup water 
2 Tbsp Cheese salt or other noniodized salt 

Add two gallons of selected milk (moo moo, goaty, sheepy) into a large'ish sized pot.

add calcium chloride and slowly heat milk to 90°F.

Take delight in the pride and bubbly frothiness of being a cheesemaker!

Allow milk to ripen for 30 minutes then slowly stir in rennet (enzyme that coagulates milk)

Mix gently and evenly.
Then stop movement and allow to set for 45 minutes.

Cut curds into ¼ cubes with curd knife.

Avoid consuming your curds and whey as of yet. You'll first need to cook the curds with indirect heat in a sink or water bath. Allow the curds to settle and rest at the bottom of the part. The poor things are exhausted!

Pour the whey and drain the curds now into a colander or strainer.

Don't forget to keep whey for making Ricotta cheese (yes, you're a cheesemaker now! Ricotta is next on the cheese making queue).

As a side note:

If perchance, you happen to place your whey back into the original milk gallon jug, I highly suggest it is labeled accordingly. The family does not enjoy pouring whey into their cereal for breakfast.

Add a bit of salt to your curds and begin to break them up into smaller pieces with your raw, bare hands without squeezing them. A process otherwise known as "milling".

Line a cheese mold with a coarse cheesecloth and pack in your curdy contents.

The top of the mold container is called a "follower".
Naturally, it follows the cheese by being placed atop the curds.

At this point, weight must be applied to "press" your cheese. A cheese press should be used, but if you  are cheese pressless, simply add your own weight.

No, don't sit on it!

exploring wine and the history of the united states will do nicely!

Work with your available resources. Here, I stacked the family's schoolbooks to do the job. As you can see, a whopping education is underway in the Ringo household!

After several hours, cheese is removed from original mold to reveal the little beauty.

Cheesecloth is removed with great care as this is a delicate cheese.

...and ta da! It's a boy! A girl?

Well, it will certainly be the freshest Queso Fresco you'll ever consume, and it's yours for the taking.

It will crumble like a Feta, but can be sliced as well. With so many uses, it may be overwhelming to decide where to go with your newborn fresh cheese.

Top off your guacamoles and Mexican dishes!

Or toss into your soups, salads and lasagnas.

Roll bits into a 50/50 cinnamon sugar mix. 
Have with coffee.

Place into an oven-safe pan, melt for 10 minutes at 400 degrees.
Use as dip with toasty tortilla chips.

Or simply add olive oil, a sprinkling of black pepper and schmear onto a french, rustic baguette.

You really can't go wrong, enjoy!


No comments:

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...