Saturday, March 24, 2012

Queso Fresco

I'll just give you a second to admire this beautiful cheese.

Need more time?   OK.

Last year, I got this gorgeous book and made some feta with it. 

It was good.

But the process was really uncomfortable.   It was all new to me.  Plus there was a lot of hurry up and wait business. 

And the stirring.   All the stirring. 

And more waiting.  

And heating things up just a couple of degrees over 30 minutes.    That one really threw me last year. 

But I made my feta and tried not to whine too much.   And K2 ate it and loved it.  

And everyone was ready for me to make some more.  Plus Eric had made that fabu cheese press and we had to try it out. 

So I closed my eyes and opened the book to this page:

Queso fresco.   And you only have to age it overnight.  

Per.  Fect. 

Because overnight is as long as K2 can wait.

The directions were pretty similar to the ones for the feta, so the whole process seemed familiar.  

And I didn't panic with the whole 'raise the temp 5 degrees over 30 minutes' business.   I just did it.

And this is how:    I was using a huge pot - the same one I use for maple syrup - and I didn't have another one big enough to use as a double boiler outside my cheese pot so I could heat it indirectly, which is the way They recommend.

So, I just turned my burner a little past 1 and watched things very carefully and that did the trick!   I raised the temp just fast enough.  

Whew.   That one step had me pretty worried, so I was very relieved when the curds did exactly what they were supposed to do.  

And now I'm not afraid of that anymore, so future cheeses will be relatively stress free.  

I hope.

This is my beautiful cheese!

It's really good, but not salty enough according to the tasters.

However, no one complained about it in our breakfast souffle [Thank you, Eric!] so I'm thinking it won't last long.  

Especially since I'm going to slice it and brine it and that should make it saltier.

Brine information tomorrow.  


  1. Beautiful cheese! With my next gallon or two, I'm going to try that! I still hate the 3 degrees over 30 minutes crap, though. Did you stand there and stir it while it was heating, or just check it occasionally? It's the standing there that gets me. Can't wait to hear about your next adventure in cheesemaking!

  2. Kewl! I've not made cheese in a while...finally finished using all the whey left over from cheese making (I froze tubs of it to use in bread-making), so maybe I'll give it another whirl. :) Your cheese looks fabulous!


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