Making your own cheese is easy. There are many varieties that are much harder and require much more ingredients – but at the simplest level you only really need Milk and Vinegar. Salt and Herbs will help flavor, but not 100% required.
For the recipe below, I used:
– 1 Gallon Milk (2%)
– 1 Pint Heavy Cream
– Half Cup Vinegar
– Basil and cilantro
NOTE: I used 2% milk because homogenized milk fat gets a waxy texture on your teeth when eaten as cheese, but the heavy cream has the needed fats, I find the combo is a good mix.
The process is as follows:
1. Heat your milk slowly, stirring consistently so it does not burn. I am a “wing it and guess” kind of guy, but for those sticklers out there 190 degrees is the recommended level. Below, you can see me trying to do it right and measure – it turned out the same when I don’t.
2. 190 degrees is just before the milk boils, when it gets there, turn off the heat.
3. Add vinegar, and stir the mixture quickly. The mix will start to separate into chunks – knows as “curds and whey”.
4. Let the mixture cool.
5. Using either cheesecloth – or in a pinch, a t-shirt, take out the whey (the fluid) from the curds (the chunks) – saving the curd. I find it easiest to line a colander with your fabric of choice and pour the mixture through it all.
6. Sprinkle in some salt, and mix the ingredients together. I Like sea or a coarser salt. At this point you can also throw in some chopped herbs for flavor – In this case I used basil and cilantro.
7. Bring all the edges of the cloth together, kind of like a “hobo sack” suspending the mass of curds and herbs in the center. Twist the “ball” of ingredients so that pressure is forced on them as you twist. Liquid will be forced out from the ball as this is done. Open the sack, mix the ingredients around a bit, and repeat a few times – do this as hard as you can as it is what creates your solid cheese.
8. Put the tightened cloth/cheese/ball thing into the fridge to get nice and chilled.
9. Cut, serve and enjoy!
Th end result is kind of like a cross between a mozzarella and a ricotta – a quite tasty combo!