Submitted by Straus Family Creamery
Queso Fresco is a South American cheese that is similar to the Indian cheese, Panir. It makes a great cooking cheese because it absorbs flavors and does not melt, and you can make your own right at home!
Time required: 35 min. active
- 1 gallon Straus Milk (any variety)
- 1/3 cup vinegar (cider, grain or herb vinegar)
Warm the milk to 195 degrees. You should have a cooking thermometer. Stir the milk to keep it from scorching. When the milk is at 195 degrees, stir in the vinegar. Turn the heat off and let the hot milk set for 10 minutes. The milk will quickly coagulate into solid white curd particles and a clear greenish liquid whey.
Line a colander with fine cheesecloth and pour the curds and whey into the colander. Hang the bag of curd to drain for one hour or until the curd has stopped dripping whey. Remove the cheese from the cloth. It will be a solid mass of curd and may be wrapped in plastic wrap and stored in the refrigerator until ready for use.
Queso Blanco can be cut into half-inch cubes and used in a variety of dishes. Because it doesn't melt, it works wonderfully in all types of recipes. Supposedly, it is the only cheese which can be deep-fried without melting. You can add it to soups, stir-fried vegetables or pastas. The cheese will take on the flavor of the surrounding food and spices. By itself, the cheese has a very mild and distinctly sweet taste.