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HOW TO MAKE FRESH MEXICAN CHEESE

Fresh Mexican Cheese. This cheese has a creamy-crumble texture ideal for empanadas and enchiladas. There is a lot of history behind our cheese to tell in just one post, my hope is that you enjoy just a little bit of it as much as I do.
Course Basic Recipes
Cuisine Mexican
Servings 1 pound cheese

Ingredients

  • 1 gallon of raw milk * I often used milk from the store and it works fine
  • 1 rennet tablet **
  • 2 tablespoons of water
  • Salt to taste

Instructions

  • Heat the milk to about 110F , if you do not have a candy thermometer you can test the milk by placing a small drop in your hand, the milk is ready when you can barely stand the heat of it. Please do not burn yourself. Be cautious.
  • While the milk is heating, dissolve the rennet tablet with the 2 tablespoon of water.
  • Once the milk is at the temperature needed add the rennet stir thoroughly for about 5 seconds and let the mixture rest for about 1 hour or less depending of the type of rennet used. The curds will start to form. It could form a solid mass that won’t stick to your fingers and will be separated from the whey. Used a knife to cut the curds in small pieces.
  • Place the curds in a cheese cloth over a large bowl or container to catch the drips. Take the 4 corners of the cheese cloth and form a bag with it.
  • Put some pressure in the cheese cloth to drain as much liquid as possible. Open the bag add the salt. Stir the curds with your hands or if you prefer place it in your food processor to form a fine and crumbly mixture.
  • Optional: At this time you could add finely chopped Epazote Herb leaves, jalapeño pepper or Red Bell pepper to give the cheese a different flavor.
  • Place it back in the cheese cloth and hang until the cheese if firm and slightly drained like in the picture. About 1 and ½ hour. Unwrap and let it rest for one more hour. Refrigerate it after this time.
  • You can also place the curds into round molds and leave them to drain. Leave them for the same time as above and turn over when completely drained. Here they are draining in top of the broiling tray. That is the only thing that came to my mind where they could drain without making a mess.
  • With the leftover whey, you could make “Requeson” , ricotta cheese. Just heat the drained whey over a low heat and let it simmer until a new set of firm curds forms and drain using the cheese cloth.

Notes

• * I have used milk from the supermarket and it works fine.
• ** These tablets are usually sold at Hispanic Stores. And the price range is 50 cents each. Or you could buy liquid rennet online and use it according to the manufacture instructions. If you don’t find the rennet, I had also made cheese using 2 tablespoons of white vinegar or lime juice when rennet is not available. So no excuse, you can make it.