Thursday, December 12, 2013

Easy Cheesey

I kid you not when I say this is the easiest cheese to make ever! I whipped this up in just a few minutes before my guests arrived, so keep it in mind for a last minute pot luck dish or special addition to a holiday party. The recipe had been hanging on the side of my fridge for nearly 9 months. My son had brought it home from his after school program at Common Ground- urban farm and school (it was written in crayon in huge letters, if that helps you overcome the idea that cheese making has to be hard). This fresh cheese is a type of farmers cheese, soft and un-aged (as in it is only minutes old!).  To make this, all you do is heat milk to 180 degrees, stir in vinegar, pour the curds through a thin clean dish towel, chill and enjoy. That's it!
Easiest Fresh Cheese 
1/2 gallon milk
1/2 cup vinegar

1. Heat milk to 180 degrees F
2. Add vinegar, stir. Milk will curdle and the curds and whey will separate. 
3. Line a colander with a thin clean dish towel and pour the curds and whey in. Let the whey drain off. You can gently squeeze the remaining whey from the curds by twisting the dish towel, or just let it hang for a while. 
4. Separate cheese into two balls and season as you desire with salt, pepper, or any spices or herbs. 

For this party I made two small balls, one surrounded by roasted cherry tomatoes and thyme (the last from my garden a little while back). The other cheese, I seasoned with salt and pepper and smothered with honey. Citrus zest would be a great addition to this cheese as well. For winter when tomatoes are lacking, you could also pair this with chopped spiced nuts like these Orange Pepper Almonds or roasted delicata squash

The only downside to this cheese is that it uses a lot of milk. An entire half gallon of milk only yields two small rounds of cheese...which makes me think deeper about why cheese is so expensive.....

Do you have any homemade cheese recipes? Ideas for fun party appetizers? Please share!


  1. Tagan, I like the idea of a recipe so simply you can write it in crayon. Maybe a good thing to aspire to. I used to make paneer with pretty much the same recipe, but it was tricky because you had to get the cheese really hard and relatively dry if you wanted to fry cubes of it for Indian food. We would really squeeze the heck out of it and then weight it for an hour or two. Your flexible approach, where it's ok if the cheese is soft and everything is more relaxed, sounds great.

    1. Thanks Leslie! I haven't made paneer, it makes sense that it is the same technique, but pressed harder. I love making these cheese, it is so easy & flexible, and people love it! Happy holiday/winter cooking!!