Posted by: andy idsinga | March 2, 2010

Queso blanco cheese making adventure

This is a guest post by Lori Madsen.

This was my first solo cheese making adventure.

On Friday I assisted with a cooking demo at our daughter’s school.

The wonderful Claudia Lucero who owns Urban Cheesecraft, was our expert for this demo.

She teaches cheese making classes and sells cheese kits on Etsy and at local Portland Oregon stores.

On Friday she taught us and the kids how to make fresh, fabulous tasting mozzarella.

Mozzarella is a little trickier to make than what I attempted at home. It will take some practice before I can make it look anything like Claudia can!

At home I tried Queso Blanco (Farmer’s Cheese) which was quite simple.

Here’s how:
I simmered a half gallon of milk (not ultra pasturized!) in a pot until foamy and steamy but didn’t let it get to a boil.
The yellow bits you see in the picture is the cream. The milk I used is non-homogenized so the cream floats to the top.

Then I added 1 teaspoon citric acid. Citric acid causes curds and whey to form. You know – Little Miss Muffett :) The citric acid comes in Claudia’s cheese making kit.

I stirred this for a minute until curds started to form.

Then I drained the curds in a cheesecloth lined strainer over the sink. I finally got to use cheesecloth to make cheese! At this point I added salt. This is also a good time to add herbs if you like.
To make a firmer cheese you can place a weight on top of the curds while they drain. I think I’ll try that next time.

After an hour or two this is what they’ll look like:

I pressed this into a small bowl.

I let this sit in the refrigerator for a few hours. I don’t think you have to do this step though. I then turned it out onto a plate.

Queso Blanco can be sprinkled over salads, soups, put into quesadillas or any other use you can think of.
I’ll be using it in my Spanikopita recipe. You can also save the whey for many uses. I used mine in place of water to make rice that evening for dinner.

I’m looking forward to trying Chevre! Claudia was telling me there is a small goat farm in the neighborhood just north of us.

Urban goat farm! How cool is that?! It can’t get much easier than that to eat local.

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