Cheesemaking Queso Blanco / Paneer / Farmer’s Chees

Cheesemaking Queso Blanco / Paneer / Farmer’s Chees

Cheesemaking Queso Blanco / Paneer / Farmer’s Cheese

Queso Blanco is meant to be used right away in its crumbly form, or it can be pressed with weights to form a cheese that can be fried.  Acid used will impart a little flavor, try different ones, such as champagne or red wine vinegar. Note that ultra-pasteurized milk will not work, it has been heated to 280, and has no cultures.  This will work with goat, sheep or cows’ milk.  Again, will have a slightly different flavor.

1 gallon milk

¼ C. vinegar lemon juice or lime juice

Salt to taste

Heat the milk slowly in a large pot to 185-190 degrees F. Turn off the heat and stir in your acid – vinegar, lemon juice or lime juice – a spoonful at a time, stirring, until curds form and separate from the yellowish whey. If it does not separate int curds and watery whey within a minute, or the whey looks milky, heat a bit more. Let it sit for 10-20 minutes. Set a colander lined with cheesecloth over a bowl and strain the curds from the whey. Discard the whey or keep it for other uses. Add salt at this stage, if desired, and stir. Stir the curds up a bit and let it drain for 10-20 minutes. For firmer cheese, wrap up the ends of the cheesecloth and continue to drain an hour or so. Hang over the sink faucet, or on chopsticks or spatula that spans the top of a tall pot.  After 4 hours, unwrap cheese and chill in refrigerator. For dense cheese, place a weight over the top of the wrapped cheese (or cheese that has been placed in a cheese mold) that will press it for several hours, until it is packed.  After chilling you can slice or cube the cheese, use in cooking, fry or serve fresh.

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