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Friday, May 9, 2014

Queso Blanco

"This cheese," he said, while taking a big spoonful and plopping it on top of his spaghetti, "is better than cottage cheese because the flavor goes throughout everything. I mean, with cottage cheese you get a chunk of flavor here and there, but it doesn't spread around as well."

Queso Blanco

Cost per recipe: $1.50

1/2 gallon milk
1/4 cup white vinegar
Herbs and/or spices (optional)

Heat the milk to 180 degrees F. Add vinegar and stir. Let curds form for 10 minutes. Drain out the whey using a cheesecloth. When you are satisfied with the amount of whey drained, mix in some salt and Italian herbs (if desired) to taste. Keeps refrigerated for one week.

Hanging the cheese. Keep a drip pan
in the bottom of the basket.
Queso blanco (kay-so blahn-co) is a popular Latin American cheese. I had some when I went to Guatemala that was more firm like a 'brick', but still good*. My recipe is great for using like ricotta, cottage cheese, or any other soft-spread cheese used in Italian cooking. I cannot emphasize enough that you use plenty of salt, and some generic Italian seasoning won't hurt either.

Depending on how much whey you choose to strain out, this recipe makes 8-16 oz.

Happy cheesemaking!

*Though not as good as mine is.

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