I have a treat for you, a homemade cheese dip and spreadable cheese. To speak your language… nacho cheese, mac & cheese, sandwich cheese spread, a natural version of Laughing Cow and Velveeta… that tastes EVEN BETTER. I lie not.
Anyone out there following Trim Healthy Mama eating plans, if you skim the cream first, this cheese is an E meal and just like the Laughing Cow Cheese you can eat in an E setting. Nice right?!
You need to make this cheese dip/spread, trust me.
1 Gallons milk (skim or whole milk, ideally raw unpasteurized and unhomogenized milk)
1/8 teaspoon (a dash measuring spoon) Mesophilic Direct Set Starter Culture
1/16 teaspoon (a pinch measuring spoon) Liquid Animal Renent
3 teaspoons of Baking Soda
2 teaspoons of salt (this is to taste)
Get this going two days before you want to use it! Or make it and freeze it. The finished melting queso cheese freezes beautifully and you’ll never know it was frozen.
- Warm 1 gallons of milk in a stainless steel pot to 86º F. Turn off heat and remove pot from stove.
- Sprinkle 1/8 (dash) teaspoon Mesophilic Direct Set powder starter. Wait 5 minutes. Still in well.
- Mix 1/16 (pinch) teaspoon liquid animal rennet (pinch) in 1/4 cup of cool water. Pour in milk. Mix well. Stop milk from moving with your spoon.
- Cover pot with lid. Let sit over night, or 12 hours. Do not bother it.
- Curd and why will have a nice separation after 12 or so hours. If this has not occurred, wait till it does. Set up a colander and a clean and sanitized pillow sack over a bucket (to catch the whey). Pour curds and whey in pillow. Let whey drain a bit. Then hang the pillow case. Can use whatever you wish. I’ve used the knob of the cabinet and now have a hook I rubber band it to.
- Drain over night, at least 12 hours until the curd is thick like cream cheese.
- Use the whey please. Don’t put it down the drain… please! You can pour the whey on your vegetables, feed to pigs, chickens, dogs… etc. Best for piggies if you have them :). If you don’t have time for the next step. That’s ok, just take your pillow case with the curds and put them in the refrigerator. They’ll be fine till the next day when you have more time.
- Set up a double boiler (can do on direct heat to), pour curd in pot. Sprinkle 6 teaspoons of baking soda and 4 teaspoons of salt on curd. Break curd apart and roughly mix with a fork.
- Let curd heat a bit and then mix it well with a hand mixer.
- Let the curd heat more and sit for a longer till little bubbles start forming on the edges, then mix again till smooth. If you are doing this direct heat be careful, the cheese burns easily.
- If you want chili con queso… this is where you can add something like Ro-tel or salsa whatever floats your boat. I like adding a pinch of dill weed and garlic powder.
- Pour mixture into molds. I use glass pyrex bowels. This cheeses freezes reallllly well. When you take it out, you’ll never know it was frozen. Make enough to freeze, it keeps a year well.
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Enjoy, this is a really good cheese. You’ll love it.