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Kat and Kevin Yares

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Disclaimer:  All information on this site is for informational purposes only.  Before using any alternative remedy, begin any new exercise routine or otherwise start trying any of the recipes included on these pages, check with your primary health provider.  Many herbs, foods, and exercises can conflict with medications you are taking or have unknown side effects.

Cheesemaking 101 -
Simple Soft Cheese

The following recipe will give you approximately one pound of soft cheese similar to ricotta, but with a better texture and taste. This was the first cheese I learned to make and can be made with either fresh milk or store bought.

The equipment needed is minimal:  a pot large enough to hold the milk, a thermometer (a candy thermometer will work if you don't have one specifically for dairy), cheesecloth and a colander.

1 gallon milk
1/4 cup white vinegar

Slowly, over medium low heat, warm milk to between 180 and 190 degrees. Check the milk frequently, because once it starts to heat up this process goes quickly. When the desired temperature is achieved, remove the pan from the heat and stir in 1/4 cup vinegar. Stir the mixture thoroughly. 

You should begin to see curds forming immediately. Allow the pan to sit for ten to fifteen minutes undisturbed.

Meanwhile, line a colander with a large square of cheesecloth in the sink. (If you want to save the whey, put the colander in a bowl at least twice the size.) Make sure the cheesecloth is large enough that the edges drape over the sides of the strainer.

After the cheese has set the allotted time, pour the contents of the pan into the lined colander. Pick up opposite ends of the square and tie together, bringing the curds up into a tight ball. Do the same with the remaining two ends. 

Your cheese ball now needs to hang, where it can safely drip, for about an hour. I generally just tie it over the sink faucet. After it has stopped dripping, your cheese is ready to use.

This soft cheese can be used in any recipe calling for ricotta or you can add herbs, an Italian herb blend is always good, and use the cheese as a spread for crackers or bread.

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