½ gallon of whole milk (Raw, or low heat pasteurization work best)
½ tsp J.Q. Dickinson Salt-Works salt, plus more to finish
1 tsp of J.Q. Dickinson Salt-Works nigari (this amount may vary depending on your milk)
Place milk in a heavy bottomed, straight sided sauce pan with the salt. Stir gently to dissolve the salt. Heat over medium-high until it reaches 190 degrees. Turn off the heat.
Add 1 tsp of nigari and stir well with a slotted spoon. Watch closely for the milk to start curdling. If nothing happens after 15 seconds or so, then add an additional ½ tsp of nigari and stir well. (Add additional nigari as needed by the ½ tsp until the milk curdles. The freshness of the milk, pasteurization method and whether or not it is homogenized will all affect the amount of nigari needed). Once it curdles cover the milk and let it sit for 10 minutes to fully separate curds from the whey.
Line a strainer with 3 layers of damp cheesecloth over a large bowl.
Using a slotted spoon move the curds gently into the strainer. Pour the whey through the cheesecloth/strainer being careful not to break up the curds. Let the curds drain for 20 minutes.
Either eat immediately or refrigerate for up to 3 days. It is delicious warm with a drizzle of olive oil and a sprinkle of JQD salt spread on crusty bread.
Yield: about 1.5 cups, depending on the milk used.
Save your whey. There are many ways to use it from feeding plants in your garden, adding additional nutrition to your pet’s meals, using it as liquid to cook beans, and making fresh mozzarella.