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Homemade Cheese

Homemade Cheese Related:   appetizers, breakfast & brunch, condiments & sauces, dairy, gluten-free, kid-friendly, Shavuot

Prep time: 30-45 mins + 1 hour draining

Cook time: 15-20 mins

Yield: 12-15 servings

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On Shavuot, a great project to do with your friends or family is to make fresh cheese. The very best cheese-making experience starts, of course, with milking the goat, pinching and rolling the warm frothy milk right out of the teat. But if this is really not an option, buy a gallon of the freshest most wholesome and least-processed milk you can find. Trader Joe’s often carries goat milk. Fresh cheese is the easiest kind of cheese to make, as it doesn’t require cultures or rennet of any kind.

Ingredients

  • 1 gallon goat's milk or whole cow's milk
  • 2 tablespoons–¼ cup lemon juice or vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • Optional: chopped fresh herbs, sesame seeds, olive oil

Preparation

  • Bring the milk just to a boil in a large, heavy-bottomed pot over medium heat, stirring consistently to prevent scalding. Remove from heat. Stir in vinegar or lemon juice.
  • At this point you will notice the curds precipitating out of the whey. You can use a strainer or a slotted spoon to scoop them out or pour the whole thing through a cheesecloth-lined strainer. You can save the whey (the water that you strain out) for baking or discard it.
  • Once you have your curds strained, sprinkle them with salt and mix in some fresh herbs, spices of your choice or nothing at all. Next, let them drain in a cheesecloth-lined colander for half an hour to 1 hour. Then pack the fresh cheese into a plastic container and refrigerate for several hours. Enjoy with bread, eggs, salad or as a side dish to just about any meal.

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