Homemade quick-cheese with peppers

Homemade cheese isn't difficult! Try out this recipe and impress your guests! Dress it up on a charcuterie board for a fancy party, or dress it down with simple crackers for a big-game appetizer. You will need a larger pot and cheesecloth.

The base recipe comes from Nourished Kitchen

We discuss this recipe in more detail on our YouTube channel!

1 gallon whole milk - not ultra-pasteurized. (some milk is marked SHT Pasteurized or ultra-pasteurized which uses a higher temperature. Others are pasteurized, which uses a lower temperature to achieve safety. This may not work with the higher-temperature product.)
1/2 cup rice vinegar
2 tsp salt
5 snow white chilies, finely chopped
8 cloves finely chopped garlic
32g finely chopped (or crushed) dried shitake mushrooms (optional).

Prepare a colander or strainer, lined with two layers of cheese cloth.

Add the milk to a large stockpot and turn the heat to medium-high.

Add the peppers, garlic, and mushrooms and slowly bring to a boil. Stir the bottom of the pot to prevent scalding. A flat bottomed wooden or bamboo spatula is a great tool for this.

When it reaches boiling, reduce the heat to low and stir in the vinegar. The milk should quickly curdle into cheese. If you don't see the solids clearly separate, add more vinegar, a tablespoon at a time until you see the separation.

Once curdled, pour into the prepared colander to drain away the whey. Rinse the cheese curds with cool water and sprinkle with the salt.

Tie up the cheese cloth and press it a bit with your hands to remove more whey. Let the bundle hang for 1-2 hours; tying it over a wooden spoon that rests on the edge of your now empty stockpot works well.

It will generally hold its shape when you remove it from the cheesecloth. You can serve it this way, or break it up a bit to resemble something like feta. Best served chilled, and will store in the fridge for about a week