“Life is great. Cheese makes it better.”

I made cheese!

I’ve long been aware that basic cheese making is incredibly simple, but as with most of my ambitions it took a while before I got around to trying it.

Recipes for basic farmer’s cheese (which is the same as paneer) are all over the internet. All you need is milk, lemons, and cheesecloth. A fine mesh strainer would probably do fine in place of the cheesecloth, but I actually used both.

Seriously, all you do is slowly heat the milk to gentle boiling, then turn the heat down and add lemon juice (I used a bit more than 1/4 cup). The juice separates the whey from the milk solids. Then you strain it all through your cheesecloth and squeeze out the remaining liquid.

I lined my mesh strainer with cheesecloth and set it over a bowl to catch the whey. I’m freezing the whey to use in bread and soups. I salted my milk while it heated up, otherwise unsalted whey has several more uses.

It’s pretty tasty, especially with honey. I’m going to put some on tacos tomorrow.

Pictures after the jump!

Stir milk continuously so it doesn't burn on the bottom.

Stir milk continuously so it doesn’t burn on the bottom.

Lemon juice, a thermometer, and a margarita. Why not?

Lemon juice, a thermometer, and a margarita. Why not?

Curds. It's not exactly pretty.

Curds. It’s not exactly pretty.

A vat of whey and plates pressing cheese.

A vat of whey and plates pressing cheese.

The final product.

The final product.

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