Fresh CheesePanir, Paneer, Queso Frescho-- No Matter how you say it, it is Fresh Cheese and one of the easiest things you can make with fresh goat's milk. Many recipes will call for using lemon or vinegar for making fresh cheese, but I've found that using freshly made (or cultured) buttermilk and/or kefir works quite well and makes for a very flavorful cheese. Additionally, you can use fruit juices and even yogurt. Your goal is to raise the acidity of the milk after heating it. For fresh cheese, you heat to the boiling point but DO NOT BOIL. The best temp is around 195-200 F.
Here's a simple recipe that can also be found on my website at Firestone Creek farm. If you have questions, feel free to ask me here in the comments or you can always add Firestone Creek Farm on Facebook and message me there.
- 1 quart full-cream goat's milk
- buttermilk and/or Kefir (use what you have)
- **1/2 cup buttermilk AND 1/2 cup kefir
- OR 3/4 cup buttermilk
- OR 3/4 cup kefir
- *you may also use yogurt (1/2 buttermilk and 1/2 yogurt)
- *you can use lemon juice or vinegar, but it tastes differently and the end result isn't as sweet
****When using buttermilk, I always get a much higher yield than when using lemon juice or vinegar.****
- Pour the milk into a heavy pan that will not allow the milk to scorch while heating. Stir often.
- As the milk is readied, measure the buttermilk and/or kefir.
- Watch the milk closely, stirring to keep it from sticking.
- When the milk comes to a boil, add the buttermilk/kefir.
- Reduce the heat and stir.The milk should change colors and begin to separate. Cheese curds will form, leaving a yellowish-greenish colored whey behind.
- Stir continuously until the milk is completely curdled.
- Remove from the heat when the separation of the curds and yellowish whey is complete
- Pour contents of pot into a strainer lined with clean muslin cloth
- Wrap the muslin tightly, tie it, and squeeze out excess whey,
- Hang the cheese for 15-20 minutes so that all the whey is drained out.
- To form a block or circle , sit it into a round cheese strainer and place it under something heavy.
- After 20+ minutes, remove from muslin, lightly salt, and cut into chunks.
You are now ready to use your fresh cheese!!!
Variations: I make a few. I've made salsa cheese, garlic cheese, pineapple cheese, jalapeno cheese and more. Experiment and have fun!