Yes it’s already time for another cheese recipe. You’re going to be seeing a lot of them on this blog. Not only because cheese was a staple of many ancient diets, but also because cheese.
1 qt high quality, non homogenized milk (Goat or cow will work)
1 cup yogurt (or buttermilk or sour cream)
Set up a double boiler. This is just a medium pot half filled with barely simmering water, and a large bowl resting on top.
Whisk the yogurt or cultured cream in the bowl, then slowly pour in the milk, whisking as you go to fully incorporate. Stirring every 15-20 minutes, heat the milk until just warm, or 100 Fahrenheit. Turn off the heat and let the bowl sit unstirred a few minutes until it rises about 5-7 degrees.
Wrap in towels and put in a warm place 24 hrs.
Put the bowl on the boiler again and repeat as day one only this time do not stir it. Tilt the bowl every 20 minutes to recenter where the heat goes but otherwise leave undisturbed until the temps around the mixture range from 90-115 degrees, or to when curdling just begins but hasn’t set in.
Repeat process but on medium heat, tilting the bowl but not stirring until temperatures around the mixture range from 110-135 Fahrenheit. Take off the heat and stir.
Set four layers of cheese cloth in a colander over a bowl, and add entire mixture to drain. Scoop out now for “cottage cheese” with lots of whey, or tie off to sink for cream cheese (1-2 hours) or queso fresco (6-8 hours).
Our first recipe was as basic and fast as cheese can be. Today, we’re doing something a little more complex. Not much more difficult, but definitely much longer. This recipe takes 3 days total to complete, but only a couple hours of “active” time.
I like to call it Yogurt Cheese, as you’ll soon see why, but it also goes by other names like Farmers cheese or Cottage cheese, maybe because it’s a great use of very fresh milk right off the farm. As with all our dairy recipes, the quality of your finished product will depend on how good a milk you are using. Don’t skimp.
Done just right, it is somewhere between spreadable and crumbly, and can be adapted towards either end of the spectrum to suit your preference, depending on how long you hang it to drain at the end.
Top to bottom: 1) Something like cottage cheese from a tub at the store. 2) a spreadable almost cream cheese-esque cheese, and 3) what is essentially like queso fresco. I usually like something between 2 and 3, best of both worlds.
The ingredients and method have stayed simple, and one can easily imagine an ancient herder, whose left his or her yogurt drink in a spot just a little to warm for it, and discovered this fresh cheese. Continue reading “YOGURT CHEESE (Farmers or Cottage)”