If you are Venezuelan and wondering what is this? I wanted a dessert recipe … I’m sorry, but this recipe is about a homemade Chilean Queso Fresco cheese, which in Chile is sold everywhere and we grew up eating daily.
I can tell you without hesitation that the Chilean Queso Fresco or Quesillo is what I miss most from Chile, and although I have tried many kinds of cheese here in the U.S., none are the same. And so, from time to time, I make it at home and enjoy it to the fullest. The recipe is a little long if you have questions leave a comment. The ingredients are as I find them in the U.S.A.
Homemade Chilean Queso Fresco
For an 8″ cheese
- 1 gallon of 2 % milk
- 1 tablespoon of salt
- 1 tablet of Junket Rennet (affiliate link)
It is important to sterilize all instruments and the cloth first, boil everything for 10 minutes in the same pot that will be used later to make the cheese. Do not forget:
- Soup spoon
- Table knife
- Cheesecloth (affiliate link)
- Whisk or fork
- Cheese Mold (affiliate link)
- Warm the milk in a large pot over medium-high heat until it reaches a temperature of 31-34 degrees C (91F), it is essential to have a thermometer to control the temperature of the process. It took 7 minutes in my kitchen, but it will depend on the flame and the pot you use. Turn off the heat.
- Dissolve a tablet of rennet in 1 tablespoon of water. Add the rennet to the warm milk, stir for 3 minutes. Let stand without stirring for 1 hour and a half, until you can cleanly remove a piece of the surface with a knife and it is set. The time is variable depending on the temperature of the kitchen; in winter it can take up to 2 hours and something.
- Cut with a table knife from the top to the bottom of the pot in 2 x 2 cm. Let stand 15 minutes more in the pot, shaking gently every couple of minutes to “release” the serum.
- Cover the colander with the cheesecloth. Strain the curd and let drain without stirring for 5 min, then lift with the cloth forming a ball to drain more liquid. Add the salt and stir gently.
- Again make a ball with the cloth and squeeze gently, notice that the cheese has already decreased a lot in volume. The process starts with 3.8 Lt of milk, and I collected more than 2.5 Lt. of serum.
- Put the curdled milk in the plastic mold with holes that allow drainage, give it a proper shape. Put some weight (can be a pair of cans). Let it rest in the refrigerator for at least 6 hours or overnight.
- The next day, remove from the mold, cut and serve. Keep refrigerated. It is normal for the fresh cheese to release more serum, drain. It lasts only a couple of days.