So, in addition to the Crema Mexicana that I made last night, I also made queso fresco for the first time. For those who are not familiar, queso fresco is a Latin American firm, crumbly cheese that is usually a bit salty and does not melt easily. Going along with the whole "in a recession thus must save money" mindset, I decided to make my own cheese. It is incredibly easy.
1/2 gallon whole milk (pasteurized)
2 tablespoons white vinegar
Heat milk over medium heat in large sauce pot until it starts to steam, about 180 degrees. I do not have a thermometer to check the temp, so I just waited until the milk was steaming, but not boiling.
Add vinegar slowly, whisking whilst you pour. The milk should curdle at this point. Turn heat to medium-how and continue stirring occasionally for about 10 minutes.
Remove from heat and let set for 20 minutes. Lightly salt the curdled milk. (A couple of shakes-you can add more later).
Line a large colander with cheesecloth. Pour entire contents of sauce pot slowly into the colander. Lift the edges of the cheesecloth to form a make-shift sack, forming the curds into a large ball and let the whey (the liquid) drain from the cheese. Set in the colander until cool enough to handle.
Periodically (every 30 minutes or so) lift up sack and twist above cheese to squeeze out excess liquid. Do this for 3 hours, then refrigerate.
*The next time I make this I might add some diced bell pepper or jalapenos...or add minced sun dried tomatoes and black olives.