Movie

Movie
Movie Inspired Recipes

Television

Television
Television Inspired Recipes

Book

Book
Book Inspired Recipes

I am a Queso Cabeza...Fromage la Tete...Cheese Head.

58 comments /
I finally saw Julie & Julia....and I am sooooo in love with it. It was like sneaking a peak at little aspects of my own life up on the big screen. It was so well adapted and acted. Meryl Streep. That's all. Meryl Streep. Not to take away from the rest of the cast because I thought they were all amazing in their parts. I laughed. I cried. I'm eagerly awaiting it's release on DVD. This has absolutely nothing to do with the subject of this post...I just couldn't help but let out a little giddy! On second thought, I suppose it has a little bit to do with this post...I mean, Julie was exploring, cooking and learning of her love for food...and I continue to do that every day. So, in that itty bitty way, it relates. Cheese. Fromage. Queso. That my friends, is the subject today. I know that I've told you how much I heart cheese. I am a cheese head (no matter that I only lived in Wisconsin for approximately 4 months....it comes from within). I'm breaking my way into cheese making slowly. Very slowly. I made mozzarella a while back...and tried my hand at goat cheese, which didn't work...but I'm blaming that on the ultra-pasteurized goat milk. It was all I could find and ultra = no good bacteria. Although if you check out my partner in cheesey-crimes blog Living in the Kitchen with Puppies, you'll see some tasty looking goat cheese that did turn out for her. This time, we decided to make Queso Blanco*. Queso Blanco is a fresh cheese, made from direct acidification (adding acid to the milk). It is then drained &/or pressed into shape. This makes it a great crumbling cheese...but it doesn't melt! So, you can fry it up in a pan (like JennyMac did here). Although we participate in a group of cheese makers, that is semi-monthly (or so) and we are super impatient, so Natashya & I found some recipes (okay, she found them and shared them...but I suggested the type of cheese) for Queso Blanco and decided that we cheese waits for no one! So, without further delay, I bring you....Queso Blanco. Sort of a general recipe, some use white vinegar, some us cider vinegar and some use lemon juice...

Queso Blanco 1 gallon whole milk (raw works & tastes best...but if you don't have access...regular will work) 1/4 c. cider vinegar sea salt- to taste Heat your milk slowly in a large heavy pot until it reaches 180 degrees F. Turn off heat and stir in vinegar. Let sit for 10-15 minutes (you will see a thick mass of curds). Line a sieve with cheesecloth (folded over 4x) or butter muslin. Set the sieve over a very large bowl and scoop or pour your curd into the lined sieve. Save this leftover liquid (whey) to make ricotta (which I'll show you another day), use in baking bread or pouring over your compost pile or into your garden. Lift the sieve from the bowl and place over an empty bowl. Fold over the edges. Place a small plate and some weights on top (to help press out extra whey). Refrigerate for 5-7 hours.Remove from the refrigerator and use any whey in the bottom of the bowl as you used the previous whey.Remove the plate & weight. Peel back the cheesecloth and place cheese in a bowl. Stir in sea salt to taste, if you wish. Kind of a strange way to add the cheese, right? Well, I just sprinkled it over the outsides. I think it needed a bit more salt...I wonder if you could add it earlier in the process with good results? I'll try it next time.You'll notice that I made mine in a regular old metal strainer, but you can use a cheese mold if you have one. I just ordered and received some from The Cheesemaker, but I really wanted a nice, rustic (my favorite food-related word) "disc" of cheese for this one. Unmold your cheese onto a plate or cutting board and use it within a day or two (in my opinion).

How should I use my queso blanco you ask? My favorite way is with Mexican food...like this Torta con Milanesa de Pollo...Go on over and check out Natashya's Queso Blanco here!

*Queso Blanco, while fresh, is not to be confused with Queso Fresco. Queso fresco is made by using rennet & cultures and will yield a similar cheese...but it is a bit firmer in my opinion. Plus, it'll melt if ya try. I'll make Queso Fresco soon...promise Dani.

"Blessed are the cheesemakers." -Monty Python

58 comments

  1. Yay for cheese!
    I love your step by step photos of the process. Great idea to use the plate.. and the fridge. I just hung mine up over the sink by a cup hook - cave woman that I am!
    Yours looks so yummy with the torta.
    Let me know if you find a queso fresco recipe, sounds delish!

    ReplyDelete
  2. Making cheese...I am so impressed.

    One of my hundreds of weaknesses is a great cheese tray.

    Well done, worth the extra effort! I may save this for a winter day project (I never grill when it is below 5 degrees)

    ReplyDelete
  3. Wow, a homemade queso blanco! That sounds incredible, great job! I really need to try making cheeses too, how neat!

    ReplyDelete
  4. You rock. I love this idea. I really want to make buratta.

    ReplyDelete
  5. Heather, you rock! Really! The homemade queso blanco looks perfect.

    Angie's Recipes

    ReplyDelete
  6. Awesome! You're so ambitious and talented... you amaze me! I've never heard of queso blanco before (sorry, I'm not very knowledgeable about cheese), but it looks mild in flavor, very much like ricotta. I would totally dig that.

    ReplyDelete
  7. Nice. I've always wanted to make my own cheese.

    ReplyDelete
  8. Dave- LOL! You know I once had a catering order in winter for carne asada and pollo asada...so I grilled up lotsa meat for ~60 people in the snow! I loved it. It was so warm and cozy and smelled awesome in the middle of that serene snowfall!

    Palidor- it is! Very mild. Easy on those who don't like a more assertive cheese...or who like any type of cheese what-so-ever... ;)

    ReplyDelete
  9. I am impressed with your courage! Looks like it turned out well, too. The mexican dish looks delish!

    ReplyDelete
  10. Yum-o! LOL I want to see the queso fresco it does look a lot like this one...Also you have another niece or nephew on the way; sorry havent commented on this in a while...Love Jen

    ReplyDelete
  11. I yield unto the head of cheese - the cheeseiest of them all...LOL

    ReplyDelete
  12. omg omg omg! for reals? I mean could it be any easier? and I can make that at home cuz I gots all the ingredients! booooya!!! I'm so excited!

    ReplyDelete
  13. Amazing, I've never thought of making my own cheese. Something to ponder :)
    I'm looking forward to seeing that movie too.

    ReplyDelete
  14. love home made queso blanco!! this is just beyond impressive!

    ReplyDelete
  15. this is fantastic, i'm so impressed! i'd love to try this sometime!

    ReplyDelete
  16. You're getting really good at making them cheeses!!! I still want to try you mozzarella recipe. I love the stuff to death.

    ReplyDelete
  17. Perhaps one day we'll be able to get a new brand of cheeses in stores called Heather's Cheese?

    ReplyDelete
  18. Talk about a cheesy post! lol = )

    Yay for you , you did a great job!

    ReplyDelete
  19. I am so very impressed that you are making your own cheese! I absolutely love cheese, too, but have yet to ever attempt to make it myself!

    I'm so glad you liked that movie...I've been itching to see it! I desperately need to find a babysitter!!!!!

    ReplyDelete
  20. I am new to your blog, and I just LOVE it.

    This recipe looks yummy, and I can not wait to try it this weekend. We are big cheese heads here too, especially my husband, he would eat pounds and pounds of it a week if I let him lol.

    I have to hide the blocks of cheddar I buy or they would be gone before I could use them!!

    Thanks for the recipe and for having such a wonderful blog!!

    ReplyDelete
  21. you make me wanna get cheesy!

    ReplyDelete
  22. This is one terrific post. Your photos are a wonderful walk through the steps required to make cheese
    and I love your choice of queso blanco. Bob and I made blue cheese a few weeks ago. There is a great recipe for that on the net.

    ReplyDelete
  23. Cheese is just the best, I love how you make your own!!! I'd like to try my hand at mozzarella, so neat. I Haven't cooked much with queso fresco, only with mexican type dishes. Yum!

    ReplyDelete
  24. Wow. I am still in awe of someone who makes their own cheese in this day and age.

    Still, I have nopt seen Julie and Julia. I have got to go soon or it will go to the crappy little theater. Argh...

    And you are a Python fan. You go sister!

    ReplyDelete
  25. How impressive! Your cheese turned out fabulous! Can't wait to see the movie - you just re-awakened my excitement over it! I was kind of bummed out when I read some bad reviews on-line.

    ReplyDelete
  26. I am totally impressed with the undertaking of making cheese. I am speechless!

    ReplyDelete
  27. OMG! Can I just tell everybody that my little sister just left me a comment telling me I'm going to be an aunt again! LOL...apparently I need to call my sister more!

    doggy...tee hee

    Dani- I know! Super easy..and super close to your queso fresco :D

    Kenny- workin' on it ;)

    Bella...thank you so much! It makes me happy to hear your kind words...and feel the love of a fellow cheesehead :D

    Mary...I really want to try that one day soon.

    Pierce...love Python!

    Reeni...I did love it. I think you will too...any foodie should. If you know & love Julia, you will be so impressed w/ Meryl! And I just loved everybody in it! EEEEk. I want to go see it again. NOW! :P

    ReplyDelete
  28. please stop by for some lemonade and an award

    ReplyDelete
  29. This looks like a great project/hobby for this winter!! I would have NEVER even thought of attempting it if you hadn't posted it with such great photos. Thanks.

    ReplyDelete
  30. Your cheese looks wonderful. I really wanted to join you guys for this but just didn't make it happen. Oh well--I can learn from your post and try it sometime. I love the step by step and all the photos.

    ReplyDelete
  31. You and Natashya inspire me so much. You make even the most ridiculously complicated culinary feats seem easy! I have never actually had queso blanco but it looks so delicious on those tortillas that I have to try it!

    ReplyDelete
  32. How fun to make your own cheese. I love cheese but don't know (much of anything) about Queso Blanco, so thanks for the introduction and education, although somewhere I had read that it didn't melt. I look forward to more cheese episodes.
    Sam

    ReplyDelete
  33. oh my gosh, I am so jealous of your cheese-making skills!! I adore cheese, goats cheese definitely being my favourite :)
    your queso blanco looks delicious!!!!

    ReplyDelete
  34. I am so happy about this post :) We have queso blanco in Colombia and I am always looking for a recipe to make it at home.....I am going to make it this weekend.

    ReplyDelete
  35. I love cheese - goat cheese being my favorite.

    I've made ricotta cheese before, but now I think I need to add this on my list of things to make - thanks for sharing!

    ReplyDelete
  36. I think I should put this on my list of fall projects because it looks so simple and so good!

    ReplyDelete
  37. Yeah!
    You total rock!!

    What amazing pictures and amazing recipe!!!!

    Love it!!

    ReplyDelete
  38. Nice job, it looks so good! I'm impressed again :)

    I loved the movie too and will probably watch it again when it comes out on DVD, which says a lot!

    ReplyDelete
  39. Fantastic! This inspires me to try it out, for sure. :)

    ReplyDelete
  40. I love, love cheese but have never attempted to make it. Your step by step photos are excellent. I must work up the courage to give it a try.

    Very impressive.

    ReplyDelete
  41. Such a cool idea - making your own cheese.

    ReplyDelete
  42. You are on your way to being an artisan cheese maker! Wow. The photos are extremely helpful. Wow. I too loved JULIE AND JULIA. Now reading MY LIFE IN FRANCE. Wow. Your cheese - just wow. Words fail me. My taste buds don't. Wow. You do Julia proud!

    ReplyDelete
  43. I'm so impressed with this cheesemaking. I like that this recipe uses easy to find ingredients. This is so cool and impressive that you make your own cheese. Totally awesome!!

    ReplyDelete
  44. I left you an award....
    I am sure that you have recieved many, but you deserve it.

    I love your blog.

    ReplyDelete
  45. I was super impressed with your mozzarella...I think of it every time I buy fresh mozzarella at the store, although I haven't tried it yet. And now this! I admire that you're making your own cheese. This looks awesome!

    ReplyDelete
  46. I wish I had more room on my counters so that I can spread out and make things like this...you rock girli, you rock!

    ReplyDelete
  47. I had that VERY same feeling watching J&J. Meryl was fantastic and I wish Juila was still around!

    ReplyDelete
  48. I am always so impressed when somebody makes their own cheese! Yay for you, it's gorgeous! And why am I not surprised that you used yours for Mexican food? Can this be replaced with ricotta?

    ReplyDelete
  49. Jamie...perhaps in some applications...but they're not really that close. Queso blanco is a bit "firmer" than ricotta and perhaps a bit saltier. I don't suppose it would hurt to try, though
    1 =)

    ReplyDelete
  50. I am super impressed with your cheese steez :)

    This one looks pretty easy! And the tortas...YUM.

    ReplyDelete
  51. Wow - that's so cool, cheese making is something that seems so beyond the powers of the average kitchen I'm uber impressed!

    ReplyDelete
  52. I just had to leave a Julia/Julie comment. I LOVED the movie, too. In fact, we had a Julia dinner party last weekend and had a fabulous time. Meryl Streep -- amazing.

    ReplyDelete
  53. Wow I'm so impressed you made your own cheese. I wish I could do that:)

    ReplyDelete
  54. Looks amazing! I am also a self-proclaimed cheesehead - and I get that from being an adopted Vermonter - another amazing cheese state! :)

    I have a bunch of cheese and yogurt cultures in my fridge! Looking forward to making some soon!

    ReplyDelete
  55. How awsome to make your own cheese and have it turn out so well! Good job!

    ReplyDelete
  56. Cheese rules! I love making these simple cheeses. It's so gratifying to make them and satisfying to eat.

    ReplyDelete
  57. Blessed are the cheesemakers indeed! I've only tried my hand at ricotta and goat cheese so far and I think it is definitely time to move on to some Queso Blanco!

    ReplyDelete
  58. Awesome post- I love it!

    Cheees waits for no one. I hear ya!

    ReplyDelete