Quick, simple, fresh cheeses are often easy to make and flavorful. They don’t require the special starters or conditions the aged cheese do. Along with fresh milk ricotta, feta and mozzarella, goat milk Cuajada cheese is an easy cheese.
Cuajada uses fresh milk and rennet. It is not real fussy about setting temperature.
The standard equipment of stainless steel pot, whisk, colander, spatula and thermometer is needed. The cheese is lightly pressed which can be done by hand in the colander or by using a small cheese press. My press was a PVC tube, wood follower and metal weights, five pounds worth.
Goat milk Cuajada cheese is very bland. It is perfect for adding flavoring to. I use a little canning salt along with minced onions and garlic chives. When I planned to make spaghetti, I used an herb mix of tarragon, basil, oregano and parsley with the salt. A couple of people I knew added jalapeno peppers.
I experimented with raisins and cinnamon. This had to be eaten immediately or it would spoil.
I bring in fresh goat milk and strain it directly into the pot. If this isn’t enough, I add some from the previous milking out of the refrigerator. My preferred amount was one and a half to two gallons of milk.
Check the temperature. It needs to me somewhere from eighty-four to eighty-eight degrees. Ninety is pushing it. Under these lets it set up too slowly.
When the milk is within the temperature range, either by heating or cooling, stir in the rennet to set it up in half an hour. Put the lid on and spend some time getting your preferred flavorings together.
Once the curd is set, cut the curd and let it rest five minutes. Set the colander up in the sink or on a bowl to catch the whey.
Gently stir the curds for five to ten minutes. Pour the curds and whey into the colander. You may have to stir the curds to make room for all of them.
Drain the whey out of the curds. I do this by rolling the colander in my hands so the curds move releasing the whey. You can set the colander on the bowl and let it drain, although this takes some time and contamination can occur. You cannot refrigerate the curds at this point.
Turn the curds into a bowl. Add salt to taste. This is tricky as a little salt goes a long way. I use about half a teaspoon.
Add your flavorings and mix them into the cheese curds. You can use a spoon. I generally use my hands.
Dump the mixture into the press or back into the colander and press out all the whey possible. The goat milk Cuajada cheese should now be a solid chunk.
Put it in a container and refrigerate.
Use this cheese in any recipe calling for goat cheese.
The cheese can be sliced. It’s great on a sandwich with fresh garden tomato.
Crumbling the cheese into tomato salad is delicious. Or crumble the herbal mix into spaghetti.
Goat milk Cuajada cheese makes a good snacking cheese too.