Celebrate the culture of agriculture & share skills (Growing! Cooking! Eating!)

My friend Donna has been making fresh cheese for ages. This go-round I asked to join in. Like so many things which previously seemed complicated, I was surprised at how simple the process is. Separate the curd from the whey, strain, compress or age, and you've got a perfect example of the subtle beauty of mild cheese.
Donna most often makes hers into paneer for Indian inspired dishes. After allowing the access whey to drain overnight, she slices the disk and fries the pieces in coconut oil before adding them to masterfully spiced spinach for Palak paneer.
Here are simple instructions on making your own. All you need are a few simple kitchen supplies, fresh raw milk, lemon juice and sea salt.

Fresh Cheese:
*1 gallon fresh raw milk
*4 Tbsp fresh squeezed lemon juice
*sea salt to taste
Line a colander with cheesecloth. Set aside. Pour the milk into a large soup pot and place over medium low heat. Bring to a simmer and immediately remove from heat.

Slowly add the lemon juice, and gently stir. Allow the curds to separate from the whey. This will take about 2 minutes.
Once fully separated, pour contents through cheesecloth. Add sea salt, or any additional flavorings to the curds, such as red pepper flakes, rosemary, cracked pepper or sage.

Twist cheesecloth around the curds (to resemble a package reminiscent of one delivered by a stork), and begin squeezing the curds to remove access whey.
Flatten the curds within the cheesecloth forming a disk. Wrap disk with edges of the cloth and place on a dinner plate. Place a larger plate underneath, and tip plate with cheese to one side using a small dish cloth, so excess whey may drain onto the larger plate. Weight with an additional plate on top of the cheese to compress.
Place in fridge overnight and enjoy the following day how ever you may please. Excellent for nibbling, melted over sourdough, or used as a star in your favorite Indian dish.

*Whey may be reserved for future recipes, drinking, or if you have pigs, they will welcome it wholeheartedly as a decadent treat.

Views: 38

Comment by Omega Farms on October 12, 2010 at 12:55am
This is wonderful. Thank you for posting this.
Comment by Christine on October 12, 2010 at 4:17pm
Thanks for sharing. Where do you usually buy your raw milk? Is it commonly available at co-ops or natural foods stores? I don't think I've seen it near me, but then again I wasn't really looking for it either. I'm thinking of starting with some yogurt cheese and working my way up :)
Comment by Omega Farms on October 12, 2010 at 8:21pm
We have a milk cow :-). I made butter many years ago, but have never made cheese. Maybe I'll give it a try just for the experience.
Comment by Christine on October 14, 2010 at 10:09am
A milk cow! Well that explains the easy access to raw milk!


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