Making Queso Blanco with goat milk

July 23, 2009 in cheese, How-2, milk, recipe

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Wow, our ISP (to remain unnamed for the moment) REALLLLLY screwed us over, on galactic proportions. I feel shaky having come out the other end of this nightmare.

My blogs are back and I am hoping our new ISP has more ethics than the last.

Today I am going to show you how to make an acid precipitated cheese called Queso Blanco. This is similar to paneer (Indian Cuisine) and is quite popular in latino cooking. We also have Queso Fresco which is different. I actually prefer queso fresco but I didnt have the cultures needed to make that cheese on hand.

I made 3 gallons worth of queso blanco because I had an over abundance of milk from our 7 milking LaMancha goats who are giving us between 2 to 2.5 gallons a day now.

You can learn more about our real local backyard food at my homestead blog Humble Garden.

I mentioned that this is an acid precipitated cheese. What that means is that the casein protein in the milk is rendered solid (and no longer able to float about in the fluid of milk) by changes made to the protein molecules by the acid. In this case, that acid is added (lemon juice, vinegar, citric acid, etc). Other cheese rely on lactobacillus bacteria to grow in the fluid milk. Over time, their metabolic byproducts include lactic acid which then, once the fluid reaches the correct pH, causes the change in the protein to form the curd. This second method yields more depth and allows for the creation of a cheese that stores long in some cases (versus queso blanco which must be eaten fresh).

Ok, without further discussion, lets get into the how-2.

Ingredients:

  • 1 gallon milk (I use raw goat milk but it wont stay raw)
  • 1/4 C lemon juice or white vinegar (though you have to go slowly, you may need more or less)

Directions:

Making Queso Blanco

Heat the milk in a non-aluminum pot to 185 F, do not burn!

Making Queso Blanco

Use a thermometer and stir to keep the temperature evened out in the pot.

Making Queso Blanco

Once it hits 185 F, kill the heat and add the vinegar and stir gently and then let it sit for 5 minutes.

Making Queso Blanco

If you do not see the curd separating from the whey (white clumps in yellowish greenish liquid) then carefully add more vinegar until you get the curd.

Making Queso Blanco

Stir for 5 minutes to keep it from clumping up.

Making Queso Blanco

Pour the whole mixture (its hot!) into a cheese cloth lined colander over a large bowl in the sink.

Making Queso Blanco

Mix this slightly in the colander to encourage release of more whey.

Making Queso Blanco

Now comes a 2 part pressing process. I do not have a proper cheese press yet and my scale died so I had to guess on actual weights.

What you want is:

  • 20 minutes pressed at 10 pounds
  • 2.5 hours pressed at 25 pounds

What follows is how I jury rigged it all!

Put your well drained cheese in it’s cheese cloth, made into a tidy little ball, on a plate, and then add what is called a follower (in my case the base to a spring release pan form).

Making Queso Blanco

Add 10 pounds of weight.

Making Queso Blanco

After 20 minutes, add enough weight to make it 25 pounds and leave for 2.5 hours.

Making Queso Blanco

Making Queso Blanco

When done you will have a well pressed cake of cheese! Refrigerate and eat within the week.

Making Queso Blanco

I love serving it with freshly made hot Colombian arepas.

Making Queso Blanco