Monday, August 31, 2009

got milk?

Daniel brought home some extra milk today...

Ten gallons extra!

(It was a good deal, ha ha.) So I started thinking about what to do with so much milk.

The first thing that came to mind was to make queso fresco, a soft cheese. After looking around on the internet and finding several recipes, I combined a couple, and this is what I ended up doing:

Heat four quarts of milk to 180° F (82° C), stirring constantly. (Be careful not to scald it.) While stirring with a wisk, slowly add 1/4 cup white vinegar. (The milk will begin to curdle.) Continue to stir for 10-15 minutes. (I left the heat on low, to maintain the temperature.) Line a colander with a fine cheesecloth, and pour the curdled milk through it. Allow the curds to cool for about 20 minutes, then gather the four corners of the cloth and hang it, suspended over a bowl or sink until it stops dripping (about 5 hours). I helped it by squeezing it periodically.

The solidified cheese can be broken apart and salted to taste, or left unsalted.

We use queso fresco in lasagna (instead of ricotta), tacos, sprinkled over tostadas with beans and salsa, and on top of bean dip. It's delicious!

After the cheese-making process, I ended up with about three quarts of whey by-product. Any ideas what I could do with that? I was thinking of chilling it to pour over cereal, or using it for pancake batter or biscuits.

So, just nine more gallons of milk to go! I am freezing some of it, but maybe some of you cooks out there have recipes that use milk as a key ingredient. Let's hear 'em! If you like, post it on your blog, and I will link you here.


martina said...

you could make yogurt,that looked fairly easy on the internet, ice cream is always good to.

momto9 said...

yes yogurt is easy in the crock pot!

Tori said...

Wow, bravo Tammy. You've settled down there in Guatemala and became a perfect farm wife. I sometimes envy your life. Life in Europe is so different and while it's easier with the convienences I feel we miss out on a lot of God's world.

Anyhow, hope you figure out how to use the rest of that milk, no recipes here. :0(

Elizabeth said...

I'm thinking of preserving all that milk too, not just recipes. I don't know how easily you could get your hands on sugar, but making sweetened condensed milk would be sort of easy, and you'd have shelf life. Evaporated milk would be easy to make too and it wouldn't spoil as fast.

Like Tori was saying, you really do get to do a lot of things that we miss out on.

Esther said...

Yep lots of it!! We make a similar receipe as you described above. If the whey is not to salty we make custard out of it. We have had some really good turn outs with it. People commmenting it taste like apricots! But sometimes they whey is to salty to make it.

That is one idea from way down in kiwi land=)

Anna said...

One of the easiest cheese that I make is cream cheese. It doesn't take any heating, enzymes, rennet, or special ingredients. All you do is:

1. Let the milk sour on the counter for a 3-4 days, tightly sealed.

2.Dump the blob of curd into a cheesecloth-lined bowl.

3.Tie the curd up in the chessecloth and let it hang above the bowl for a day or so to drain the whey.

Then it's done! The texture is a little different than store-bought cream cheese, but it tastes the same and is much healthier.

You could use the whey on your garden, or for lacto-fermentation.

Tammy said...

Martina and momto9, I made some yogurt in my crock pot, and it came out great! Good idea!

Tori and Elizabeth, I'm just a country girl wannabe! LOL

I froze most of it, so that none of it would go to waste while I decided what to do with it.

Esther, thanks for the custard idea! Share your recipe?

Anna, your cream cheese idea sounds so easy I think even I can manage it, lol! Thanks :o)

Dani Joy said...

Great idea! We love queso fresco!
WE eat it here in Spain too! But I wouldn´t have ever thought of making it myself. that´s awesome you could do that.

Anonymous said...

This sounds very yummy! Please be careful with soft cheeses during pregnancy it can be dangerous and cause an infection in your womb if it doesn't come from pasteurized milk.

Tammy said...

Thanks for your concern! This is raw milk that we use. I've done some research into it, and I think the pasteurization process actually destroys the beneficial bacteria and enzymes that help to digest the milk. Some think it's risky to consume unpasteurized milk products, but it's not any more risky than eating spinach, tomatoes, or even peanut butter from the grocery store, lol!