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  1. #1
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    Default Make Your Own Cheese

    Hi, everyone!

    I've enjoyed all of the great info on these lists for so long! I have found
    so many wonderful new and frugal ways to feed our family.

    I want to give back by sharing one of my own discoveries with you all. I've
    always wanted to make cheese (we make our own wine, beer, bread and yogurt
    so cheese was the next logical step). Cheese has always scared me a bit
    because you need special ingredients and have to carefully monitor
    temperatures and the like.

    Then I found Queso Blanco (as it's called in South America) or Panir (as
    it's called in India). In many of my cheesemaking books, it's suggested that
    this be the first cheese you make because it's so simple and you do not need
    special cultures. I tried it and it's super easy, it freezes well and is a
    great meat extender. It's the only cheese that doesn't melt. You can even
    deep fry it and it will retain it's form. So far, we've used chunks in stir
    fry, chili, curry chicken and vegetarian goulash. I'd like to bread and deep
    fry some next. This cheese absorbs the flavours of whatever you cook it
    with. The only thing is that you wouldn't just eat it by itself. It's a
    cooking cheese, not a table cheese. I recommend that everyone try this at
    least once. The benefit of using it as a meat extender is that it is protein
    based and not carb-based for those on low-carbs diets.

    Here's the recipe:

    1. Over direct heat, warm 1 gallon of milk to 180 degrees F., stirring often
    to prevent scorching (use an enamel stock pot). Maintain this temperature
    for several minutes (you can use a candy thermometer or even a meat
    thermometer).

    2. Slowly add 1/4 cup white vinegar until the curds separate from the whey.
    This will happen almost immediately and it will look like it has curdled
    (which, technically, it has). Stir for a few minutes.

    3. Line a colander with cheesecloth (try to get real cheesecloth and not the
    stuff you get at the grocery store- it is finer and lasts longer). Pour the
    curds and whey into the colander which you have put in a large bowl. The

    whey will drain into the bowl and the curds will stay in the cheesecloth.

    4. Tie the cheesecloth with string and hang over a bowl for several hours
    (or overnight) to drain the rest of the whey. Once the bag has stopped
    dripping the cheese is done. Note: do not squeeze the bag to try to drain
    faster- you will strip the fat out of the curds).

    5. Unwrap the cheese. It will now be a solid ball. Wrap in Saran Wrap and
    store in the fridge for up to a week. When ready to use, cut into 1-inch
    cubes. You can also freeze the cubes for use later.


    Sincerely,

    Angie Mohr CA CMA

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