Queso Fresco is a simple, quick cheese, perfect for eating sliced or cooked. It will soften nicely when chopped into chunks and added to a stir fry, or it will not quite melt if layered into a lasagna, giving a rich, cheesy texture.
I like to make this because it’s not terribly hands-on, and even the most novice cheese maker will succeed. All that’s needed, beyond basic cheese making equipment and ingredients, is a cheese press. It’s even possible to make one of these at home! Find out how to make queso fresco today.
Stainless steel pot
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Two gallons of milk
Heat your milk slowly to 90F.
Add the mesophilic starter according to the directions on the packet. If using direct set this will be as directed, or 4oz if using prepared. Stir thoroughly to combine.
Mix ½ tsp liquid rennet, or ¼ of a rennet tablet in ½ cup of cool water. Add this to the milk and mix with a up and down motion.
Leave the milk somewhere where it will not be disturbed, for an hour. This gives it time to ripen and for the curds to set.
Cut the curds into ¼” cubes with a long knife and, let set for ten minutes. Over the course of the next 20 minutes, gradually increase the temperature to 100F, by placing your pot into a sink of hot water or by using a low direct heat on the stove. Stir occasionally to stop the curds from sticking, or ‘matting’.
Drain off most of the curds and add 2tbsp of cheese salt and stir. Leave the curds to sit for 10 minutes.
Line a colander with cheesecloth and gently scoop the curds out, allowing the whey to drain.
Place a clean piece of cheesecloth in the press and transfer the curds. Press at 35lbs for 6 hours.
Will keep, covered, in the refrigerator for up to 2 weeks!