Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Simple Farmers Cheese Recipe for the Gardener

I will write more about my goat-cheese making experience, but wanted to share an EASY quick cheese recipe. Yesterday we tasted two variations of it, one with curry in the cheese and the goat-cheese laying on top on a bed of pepper jelly. The variation we made had garlic and chives incorporated into it - It was FABULOUS!!!

So here is Kim's Quick Queso Cheese (AKA Queso Blanco or Farmers Cheese)... We used1 gallon of goats milk, however this same recipe could be adapted (per our host Kim) to use cows milk.

1) Heat milk in a stainless steel pot to 198-degrees. It is important to stir it constantly to avoid scorching, and you must stir it with a stainless steel implement or other non-reactive utensil.

2) Once the milk has come to 198-degrees, remove it from the heat.

3) Pour in approximately 1/2 cup white vinegar into the hot milk. You must use white vinegar, not cider vinegar or red wine vinegar as they don't have enough acidity!

4) Let the vinegar incorporate into the hot milk and sit for 10 minutes.

5) Pour the curdled milk through a fine weave cheesecloth. Kim used Butter Muslin she bought from the New England Cheese Making Supply Company. Although any fine weave cheesecloth would work!

6) Add salt and any herbs to your personal taste!

7) Let the cheesecloth drain away any whey - Yes this IS where Miss Muffit's Curds and Whey came from!!!

Yesterday when we made this cheese we tasted it hot without seasoning and it tasted and felt like a mild ricotta cheese, we tasted it hot, salted and herbed (SO YUMMY) and then tasted it after it had set up more and cooled (it was still wonderful). If you are a person who enjoys the outdoors and gardening during the summer months, you are sure to enjoy this fabulous Farmers Cheese as well!!!

My chives are JUST starting to emerge from the winter ground and you can BET I will be making some simple cheese VERY SOON incorporating the springs early garden harvest! Maybe I'll even garnish my cheese with beautiful chive blossoms...

Mostly the whey can be thrown away, but this is where all the protein is, so think of unique uses for that as well - In breads, in protein shakes or smoothies, etc...

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