Queso Fresco is Spanish for fresh cheese. Being quite popular in Latin America, Queso Fresco is present in many Latin American dishes. This fresh cheese has a rather mild taste with a salty and tangy flavor. Queso Fresco can easily acquire other flavors so you can add a combination of herbs and spices to make its taste unique.
Yield: 900 g Queso Fresco cheese
Aging Time: none
1. 7.5 L full cream milk
2. 1/16 teaspoon Bioprox M265 Mesophilic Culture
3. 1/ 8 teaspoon liquid animal rennet (dissolve in 2 tbsp of unchlorinated cool water)
4. Cheese Salt
5. 1/ 8 tsp of Calcium Chloride (for pasteurized milk)- dilute in 30 ml non chlorinated water
6. Herbs and spices (optional)
1. Large stainless pot
3. Spoon or ladle
4. Knife and curd cutter
6. Cheese cloth or butter muslin
7. Cheese hoops
8. Draining mat
9. Cheese press
Reminder: Sterilize all your equipment before making cheese.
1. Heat the milk to 320 C.
2. Add the calcium chloride if you are using pasteurized milk. This will help give you a better curd set. Stir gently to mix well with the milk.
3. Sprinkle the mesophilic starter culture on the milk’s surface. Let it rehydrate for a minute. Stir gently in an up and down stroke for 1 minute.
4. Keep the temperature at 320 C.
5. Add the rennet and stir for a minute in an up and down stroke.
6. Cover the pot and let the milk set for 30 to 45 minutes or until you get a clean break. Check for a clean break by poking the surface with a knife. If you can move the curd without the whey filling the space immediately, you’ll know you have a clean break.
7. Cut the curds into ¼ inch or 6 mm cubes.
8. Gently stir the curds. Over the next 15 to 20 minutes, gradually raise the temperature up to 350 C. Continue to stir as you increase the temperature to prevent the curds from matting (sticking together).
9. Once you reach the target temperature, let the curds set for 5 minutes.
10. Line the colander with cheesecloth or butter muslin.
11. Ladle or pour the curds into the cheesecloth and let the whey drain.
12. Put the curds back in the pot. Add the cheese salt and mix well.
13. Let it set at a temperature of 350 C for 30 minutes. You’ll notice that more whey will be expelled after 30 minutes.
14. Line the cheese hoop with cheesecloth.
15. Ladle the curds to the cheese hoop.
16. Press the cheese at a pressure of 16 kg for 5 to 6 hours.
17. Remove the cheese from the mold. Put it in a covered container. Refrigerate and consume within a period of 2 weeks.
6 Ways to Enjoy Queso Fresco
The use of Queso Fresco is not limited to being an ingredient in Mexican dishes. Here are 6 great ways you can enjoy this delectable fresh cheese.
1. Use it as a soup garnish.
2. Toss it in a salad.
3. Lather in your corn cob.
4. Crumble it on top tacos and enchiladas.
5. Use it as a filling for quesadilla and burritos.
6. Use it as a substitute for feta and goat’s cheese.
Queso Fresco Ingredient and Equipment Available
Aside from making Queso Fresco, this mesophilic culture is also used for making hard cheeses like Cheddar, Jack and Colby.
This stainless steel cheese press is easy and convenient to use. The pressure can be adjusted according to the number of pressing stamps and the size of the molds to be pressed.
More Great Fresh Cheese Recipes
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