How to make Paneer and Queso Blanco at home(easy recipes)
Fresh acid-set cheese is one of the easiest to make, and rennet is unnecessary. Different versions of this cheese are famous worldwide under other names - Paneer or Indian cottage cheese is typical for the Indian subcontinent and surrounding countries.
Queso Blanko is a different name for the same type of cheese but is commonly made in Latin America. It is unsuitable for long ageing as it does not have lactic acid cultures forming the flavour. However, the pleasant mild taste is very suitable to be used as an ingredient and mixed with herbs and salt in many dishes.
The difference between Queso Blanco and Queso Fresco is the use of rennet and starter. Queso Blanco uses for coagulation, just acid. Queso Fresco needs coagulants like rennet and some starter cultures.
To make Paneer or Queso Blanco, you will need 3-4 L of whole dairy milk and 150 ml of white vinegar or fresh lemon juice. Apple cider vinegar will add a different flavour. The red wine vinegar will add a slightly brown colour to it. Multicooker will help, but a large sous pan will do just fine.
Place the milk in the sous pan or multicooker.
Heat it to 90C(near boiling point), but do not allow it to boil. Stir to prevent the burning of the milk.
Then remove the sous pan(switch off the multicooker) from the heat and add the vinegar/Lemon juice. Stir constantly for a few minutes.
Then let coagulate for about 10-15 minutes. Some flakes will start to form, and the whey amount will increase. Allow some time until the curds sink to the bottom of the container.
Pour out the whey and transfer the curds to the cheesecloth. Squeeze out as much whey as possible. You can add some salt, cumin, or any other herb at this stage. Incorporate the herbs with your hands and return to the cheesecloth.
Place the cheesecloth with the mixture between two trays or chopping boards to flatten the mixture and shape it like a cube or brick. This shape is also optional; at home, you can shape it as you wish. However, make sure that squeeze out as much whey as possible by pressing the cheesecloth and the mixture inside.
Then remove from the cheesecloth, pack well with cheese paper or use a container with a lid and place in the refrigerator. Allow more time to let it dry if you prefer it like that.
When ready to use, cut into slices or cubes
Keep refrigerated and enjoy