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Two Simple Cheeses

Two Simple Cheeses Recipe
Here is a recipe for making two different cheeses in one day! I was running low on home made cheese because we'd been so busy this past year.
Well, it was almost becoming a cheese emergency for me. I had made several cheeses the previous year that were aging well and so I had cheese, even new cheeses as they aged and ripened. But then I realized I was actually running out. Ugh! Cheese needs time, I don't have time! I'm running out of home made cheese!
I wanted a cheese with some maturity to it that I could actually slice. Something for a cheese tray or charcuterie. 
Then I started looking through some past cheese recipes I had made and found one that I liked for a fast cheese but also one that used a culture and rennet. One that was pressed and aged just briefly. It was for Queso Fresco.
I started early in the morning so I had plenty of time to do a cheese with some ripening and pressing time. I decided to add a few steps to the recipe I had for Queso Fresco, giving it some time to develop a more complex character. 
I also decided to add some extra flavors to half of the cheese. Since I was going to need to use two one pound molds to press the cheese, why not make two different cheeses?
This recipe can be made without adding the seasonings and will still be closest to a Queso Fresco. Do not omit the salt.
The recipe is the same for both cheeses until the draining of the whey in step 9. The first 1/2 of the curds are drained in a cheese cloth lined colander, salted and then put into a cheese mold.
Next, the second half of the curds are drained in the colander and seasoned with salt, garlic, onion and thyme leaves. Then put into another cheese mold.
The two cheeses are then pressed at the same time, One atop the other. The unseasoned cheese should always remain on the top of the pressing stack.
Keep the seasoned cheese on the bottom so that it doesn't contaminate the more plain cheese with it's flavors as the whey drains from it during the pressing process.


The cheeses are pressed for two short intervals of 30 minutes at 8 pounds of pressure to bring them together tightly enough to be removed from the cheese cloth for the final pressing. The final pressing is what will make this cheese come together solidly and it will give it some aging time at room temperature as well.

The cheesecloth is removed and re-wrapped around the cheese when it is flipped between pressings to help to smooth the lines creating a nearly smooth surface on the cheeses.

Click through the photos for a better look at the process.