Mexican Queso Fresco - Queso Blanco
Makes two small cheese wheels
This cheese is a creamy fresh (un-aged) cheese, typically made from cow or goast’s milk
Queso fresco has many uses, and its crumbly texture is often enjoyed as a topping in many Mexican dishes and almost a staple in all Mexican tables.
Use it as you would feta or goat cheese (it works as a substitute for both in many cases).
Crumble it on sop
es, enchiladas, tacos, summer salads, it’s a great contrast to spicy dishes, but also works with fresh fruits and herbs, including a refreshing watermelon salad or a topping for your favorite soup.
In the United States, pasteurized queso fresco is common, but it's so easy to make at home that there's no reason to buy it.
Queso Fresco is made from warm milk that is curdled with an acid. It doesn't require rennet or other ingredients—vinegar or lemon juice will do the trick. Once the curds form, the whey is strained away and the curds can be pressed into a firmer cheese, or used in a creamy, spreadable form.
One advantage of making this cheese yourself is that you can control its texture. Queso Blanco curds can be "pressed" into a firmer cheese that can be sliced, crumbled, and even fried (this cheese does not "melt" but will get softer when heated). Or you can simply strain it with the cheesecloth and enjoy a creamier, more spreadable texture.
1/2-gallon whole milk
1/2 cup whipping cream
1 cup buttermilk
4 teaspoons kosher salt
4 to 5 tablespoons vinegar, such as apple cider or distilled white
In a large pot, combine the milk, whipping cream, buttermilk, and salt. Stir over medium heat until the temperature reaches 190 F (or nearly a boil). Remove from heat.
Stir in the vinegar, 1 tablespoon at a time. Small curds will begin to form. Stir gently for 5 minutes or so, then let the mixture cool for 10 more minutes.
Line a large colander with 1 to 2 layers of cheesecloth. Slowly pour the milk mixture into the colander, letting the whey (the clear liquid) drain away into a bowl.When most of the whey has drained off and the cheese is cool enough to handle, lift the edges of the cheesecloth up and twist, wrapping the cheese securely inside the cheeseclot