I had the opportunity to prepare this recipe in a cooking class, where the instructor taught us how to make it, and we then had to prepare it for our final exam. I had never made homemade cheese before, and I thought it was a bit challenging. But that day, I realized it's much easier than I believed. That's why I've decided to share this recipe with you.
Before I explain the preparation process, I'd like to mention a bit about its nutritional value. Milk consists of about 90% water, which gets reduced to approximately 70% in fresh cheese. This concentrates the nutritious principles found in small portions of milk.
Key components include high biological value proteins, easily assimilated calcium, and other minerals like magnesium, phosphorus, and vitamins from groups A, B, and D. The fat content varies depending on the type of milk used and whether cream and sugar are added.
Fresh cheese stands out for its versatility in the kitchen, its high nutritional value, and its lower fat content compared to other cheeses. Moreover, it's often well-accepted by children because of its mild and slightly tangy flavor.
Making homemade cheese is straightforward, so I hope you give it a try. It doesn't take much time, and best of all, it's delicious. It's perfect for breakfast with bread or paired with a cup of coffee, or to accompany it with guava paste. The truth is, cheese is versatile and pairs well with many dishes. Simply put, it's delightful.
What are the basic ingredients for making cheese?
To make homemade cheese, you'll need the following ingredients:
- 1 liter of bagged milk
- 1 tablet of rennet
- Salt to taste
Remember, for every liter of milk, you should use ¼ of a rennet tablet.
What's the process for making homemade cheese?
The process for making homemade cheese is quite simple and involves the following steps:
- Heat the milk until it's lukewarm, add your desired amount of salt, and stir.
- Remove the milk from heat and add the crushed rennet.
- Wait for the milk to set properly.
- Place the mixture in a strainer or sieve to eliminate excess water.
- Compact the mixture into a circle and refrigerate.
Tips and tricks for making perfect homemade cheese
Ensure the milk is lukewarm, not hot, to prevent the rennet from denaturing.
Crush the rennet thoroughly before adding it to the milk to ensure even distribution.
Once the milk sets, handle it gently to prevent breaking.
- Overheating the milk: If the milk is too hot, the rennet might denature and not set properly.
- Not waiting long enough for the milk to set: Patience is crucial. If you don't wait long enough, the cheese won't have the right consistency.
- Not draining excess water properly: It's essential to drain the cheese well to achieve the desired texture.
What other similar recipes can I make?
- Cheese Arepas: Use your homemade cheese to fill arepas, a traditional Colombian dish made of corn dough.
- Almojábanas: These Colombian buns have grated cheese in their dough, giving them a delightful taste.
- Patacones with cheese: You can melt your homemade cheese over fried patacones, a typical dish from the Colombian coast.
These recipes are excellent options to enjoy your Colombian homemade cheese and explore new flavors and textures. Bon appétit!
- 1 liter of bagged milk.
- 1 tablet of rennet.
- Salt to taste.
- For every liter of milk, you should use ¼ of a rennet tablet.
- Heat the milk slightly until it's lukewarm, then add your desired amount of salt and stir. Once lukewarm, remove from heat and proceed to add the rennet.
- Break the tablet into 4 equal parts, and only use ¼, crush it and mix with the milk.
- Wait for the milk to set properly, and once this occurs, place the mixture in a strainer or sieve and remove excess water.
- Compact the final mixture into a circle and place it in the refrigerator. you're done.