Queso panela is a white, fresh Mexican cheese with a smooth texture made from cow's milk. Make your own queso panela at home in your kitchen with this recipe for Homemade Panela Cheese. If using raw milk, be sure to heat to an adequate temperature for 30 minutes to pasteurize. With full instructions on how to make your own fresh cheese, this recipe also suggests a few flavorful add ins such as diced bell peppers or chopped chipotle peppers.
- 5 liters raw milk (or pasteurized milk)
- 1 tablespoon rennet (liquid, use double if using pasteurized milk)
- coarse salt
- bell pepper (diced, optional)
- chipotle chile (chopped, optional)
- In a saucepan, heat the raw milk at 63 degrees Celsius for 30 minutes to pasteurize.
- Let it cool to 32 C.
- Add the rennet and stir. It will thicken and become similar to yogurt.
- Using a knife, make deep cuts all the way to the bottom. Let it rest until the whey separates.
- Place a piece of fabric over a big bowl. 10 minutes later, pour the contents of the bowl over the fabric. Press down to remove the whey.
- Add salt to taste and peppers or chipotle if desired. Use your hands to mix in the salt.
- Divide the cheese into 2 portions and place in 2 baskets. Use your hands to press down and even out the surface.
- Place on a flat plate and refrigerate for 2 hours.
- Unmold and serve.