FROMAGE A TROIS
Label for gift cheese.
BLESSED BE THE CHEESEMAKERS
The process is ridiculously simple. First line a colander with a clean tea towel. Forget about cheesecloth. Chances are that you'd have to buy and in my experience it does not lend itself to repeated use. Go with the tea towel. You will feel green and virtuous.
Next you take half a gallon of milk, pour it into a pan that will accommodate at least four time amount. I used a Le Creuset Dutch oven, but there are those who insist on aluminum pots. The choice is yours. heat the milk to to 185F, stirring constantly to prevent burning. I recommend using a whisk for stirring. When the milk reaches 185F will be bubbling merrily and threatening to run over. Be not afraid. Gradually stir in one fourth of a cup of vinegar and continue to stir without pause for twenty minutes. The milk will separate into curd and whey, as if Miss Muffet prefers. The curds will be tiny and you might experience a moment of doubt as in,
"This is going to be cheese?"
Courage. It will be cheese and it will be good. Just pour it into the colander and let it rest for fifteen minutes. You might want to save the whey which is packed with good nutrients and it is most useful in bread making, soups, what have you. At the end of fifteen minutes, tie the ends of the tea towel and hang it above a sink or deep bowl. allow the cheese to drain for seven hours. Unwrap and salt it with kosher salt, if you wish. You might want to add fresh or dried herbs to it. You may also marinate in in olive oil to which you have added garlic and herbs. It is perfectly delicious plain.
This makes a dandy contribution to potluck dinners, picnics, tailgate feasts. In this case you might want to make a pretty label for it. I am calling mine Fromage a Trois and I am so pleased with it I intend to get me some goats milk and make some chevre.
If you are counting pennies, as most of us must these days, keep in mind that half a gallon of milk yields four ounces of queso fresco at half what the commercial products costs at the local grocery store.