Sunday, March 25, 2012

Cheese Brine

That queso fresco that I made the other day wasn't salty enough. 

Which I totally don't get, because the recipe called for 2 whole tablespoons of salt, which I put in, but then later I read that sometimes if you put too much salt in, it leaches calcium and for some reason that makes it taste way less salty, which I don't really understand or have the brain capacity these days to investigate until I do understand because it's the beginning of gardening season and we homeschool and I have two other jobs and I'm kinda busy and distracted all the time and maybe the cheese wasn't salty enough because we have hard water or because the whey hadn't finished draining when I put the salt in.   Or something. 

At any rate, the cheese needed to be saltier.    And when we've got this kind of cheese at the store, it's pretty wet and sort of briney. 

So I made a brine for our sad saltless queso fresco.

2 quarts of water
1/2 cups of canning salt.

Boil it all.    It'll make salt marks on the top of the pan because the water is super saturated with salt.

And when you splash some on the stove and come back in a 1/2 hour, there will be cool little salt rings all over. 

It's cool

But then you have to wait until it really is cool.   Down to room temp.   And then you can slice the cheese and set it in the brine to salt up. 

Which is what I did.

I sliced the cheese and put it in a bowl.   Then I sprinkled a few spoonfuls the brine on and shook it around.  I didn't want the cheese floating in really salty brine; I just wanted the cheese a bit saltier.

Then I put the lid on and shook the brine around and upside down to get it all over the cheese.

And it worked.   Everyone gave it a thumbs up. 

So now I can make pressed cheese and fix the saltiness if I need to.   It's kind of exciting.  Eric brought home two more gallons of milk.   We're voting on what kind of cheese to make next.

1 comment:

  1. I think the salt thing is tricky. Trickier than the temp thing. For the last cheese I made, I salted just after draining and before pressing. And brined. It was tasty and salty. Can't wait to hear the results of the vote!


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