This recipe comes from the cookbook "One-Hour Cheese" by Claudia Lucero.
• Large colander or mesh strainer • Fine cheesecloth • Large heat-resistant bowl or platter (optional, for whey collection) • 3-quart stockpot • Cooking thermometer • Large mixing spoon • ¼ cup • 1 teaspoon • Cheese mold of choice, to shape a wheel (optional) • Clean 16-ounce jar or bottle, for pressing cheese
Line the colander with cheesecloth.
Place a bowl underneath if you want to collect the whey, otherwise, place the lined colander in your clean sink.
Pour both quarts of milk into the pot and heat the milk, on medium, to 200°F.
Stay close and monitor the heat, stirring every few minutes to prevent a skin from forming on the surface of the milk.
Check for sticking milk at the bottom of the pot. (Reduce the heat if you feel any milk sticking.)
When the temperature reaches 200°F, add the apple cider vinegar and stir it in thoroughly.
Coagulation should happen within seconds.
Take the pot off the hot burner and very gently stir the curds for 1 minute (don’t break them up, just move them around as they shrink and release more whey).
Pour the curds and whey into the cloth-lined colander.
Let the curds drain for 2 to 5 minutes, stirring gently to release whey, until the curds resemble thick oatmeal.
Add the salt and the chili pepper flakes to the curds (you may do this in the colander, or transfer the curds to a bowl).
Stir thoroughly to further cool and dry the curds.
The salt and exposure to air both promote whey release, so being quick will still result in a soft enough curd that can be tightly compressed.
But, if you want dry crumbles, stir as much as you’d like!
Gather the corners of the cheesecloth to create a tight bundle.
You can press the cheese right in the colander.
Squeeze the bundle into any one of the molds mentioned in the Equipment section.
Here, I use a plastic ricotta basket to create a wheel shape.
Press the curd bag into the mold, and fold the cloth neatly on top.
Firmly place a clean, water-filled 16-ounce jar or bottle on top, for about 15 minutes. More whey will drain from the mold.
Remove the press and uwrap your beautiful wheel.
Your Chivo Fresco is ready to crumble onto tacos or to eat with cucumbers or tortilla chips and guacamole right away. The longer it cools, however, the easier it will be to slice.