Growing up in a Latin household, queso fresco was a delicacy I learned to make early on. Queso fresco, which means fresh cheese in Spanish, is very easy to make and doesn't require any fancy equipment or ingredients. It comes together quickly and is ready to be enjoyed on its own, sprinkled over salads, tacos or serve with fruit.
How To Make Queso Fresco At Home
To make queso fresco you'll need milk (whole milk works best), a souring agent such as white vinegar or lemon juice, a cheesecloth or kitchen towel, a stainless steel pot, a colander and a thermometer (which you'll use until you get the hang of things).
The ratio I use is: one tablespoon (15ml) of white vinegar for every cup (240ml) of milk.
8 cups (1.92l) of whole milk
8 tablespoons (120ml) of white vinegar or lemon juice
a large piece of cheesecloth
a large colander
Cover a large colander with a cheesecloth and place in a clean sink (or a large bowl if you intend to reuse the whey).
Pour the milk into a large stainless steel pot. Warm over a medium heat until it reaches a slow simmer, about 180F. You'll notice small bubbles forming on the sides. Take the pot off the heat and pour in the vinegar while stirring the milk gently. Keep stirring until you see the whey float to the top and the curds sink to the bottom of the pot. Let it sit for 15–20 minutes.
Strain the mixture in the colander. If desired, add a sprinkle of salt and mix well. Pull up the sides of the cheesecloth and tie in a knot, squeezing out the excess liquid from the curds. Place a weight on top (such as a heavy can or cast iron skillet). Let it sit at room temperature anywhere from 30 to 90 minutes. The longer you let it sit, the firmer it will be. Unwrap and enjoy.
The queso fresco may be consumed as is or stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator to harden overnight.
Watch: How To Make Queso Fresco From Scratch
This video from Sweet y Salado illustrates how easy it is to make queso fresco at home. Take a look:
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