Sep 24

How to Make Quick and Easy Homemade Cheese

Dairy breakfastDid you know that it is possible to make your own homemade cheese in just a few minutes using only three ingredients? It is a quick and easy process that turns out delicious cheese every time.

This method makes a simple cheese called paneer or farmer’s cheese. It is a little different from normal store bought cheese because this form of cheese will not melt. Instead you can crumble it on salads, spread it on crackers, or add it to curries and sauces in the same way as you would use firm tofu.

As mentioned above, there are only three ingredients necessary. You will need a gallon of milk. It doesn’t matter whether you use skim, low-fat, or whole milk. Feel free to experiment with different types. You will also need about a quarter cup of either vinegar or lemon juice and some salt.

Pour the milk into a large pot and put it over medium flame to boil. You will want to stir the milk frequently and watch it carefully so that it does not over boil and scald. Pay careful attention and immediately turn off the heat just as the milk begins to boil.

The next step is where the magic happens. Slowly stir in the vinegar and watch as the milk begins to curdle. You will see the milk begin to separate into curds (the chunky white stuff) and whey (the clear greenish liquid). Keep stirring and let the milk completely separate. If it doesn’t separate all the way, add a little more vinegar, but not too much.

Next, line a colander with some cheese cloth or other light fabric. Pour the curds and whey into the colander and let the whey drain off. You can also collect the whey for other purposes. It is very nutritious.

When the whey has completely drained out, lift up the cloth and form a bag around the curds. Squeeze out the excess whey or hang up the bundle and let it drip for 10-15 minutes.

At this stage, the cheese curds will still have a very milky taste. To bring out the expected cheese flavor it is necessary to stir in some salt. Add a little bit at a time and keep tasting it until it reaches the right amount of saltiness. This is also a good time to add garlic, pepper, or any other herbs and spices you think might be good.

Finally, put the cheese back in the cloth and squeeze it together again. Place the bundle at the bottom of a colander and then place some sort of weight on top of it. This will help to firm up the cheese and squeeze out any remaining whey. Leave the weight on for 30 minutes or several hours. Then get out your crackers ready and enjoy.

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