Queso Blanco or Panir sounds really tasty but the truth is, it's not. It's actually very bland, not bad at all, just bland. I like it on crackers with nothing else added but most people don't seem to care for it as it is. However, because it's so bland it's easy to flavor with other things and using in all sorts of way. It can be used a lot like tofu in cooking and makes any meal go further.
I still buy cheese because we love cheeses, sharp hard cheddar, gouda, baby swiss and port wine cheese are some of our favorites. But nothing can beat making your own cheese, especially if you have plenty of milk to use.
There are many recipes and I've tried a couple of different ways, they all seem to work fine so just pick one you like. The basic recipe I use mostly is ...
1 gallon of milk
1/4 to 1/2 cup vinegar (any kind will do and does effect the flavor)
Bring milk to 195 deg F, stirring often so it won't scorch. When it reaches 195 deg, stir in the vinegar, remove from heat and allow to set 5 to 10 minutes. It should start to curd right away. When you can see that the curds have separated from the whey it's ready to strain.
Here you can see the curds starting to sepaprate. The odd color is the whey.
When you have more curd than whey in the colander you can tie the cloth and hang it drain more and firm up. How long it hangs depends on how firm you want it and humidity.
I usually get around 1.5 pounds of cheese from a gallon of milk. You can also make smaller amounts at a time. I've made it with a quart of milk and 1/16 to 1/8 c vinegar.
The second part is adding herbs and things. When you add the thing depends on what you're adding. Usually, especially if I'm making eating cheese, I add herbs or sun dried tomatoes before or when I add the vinegar. I also almost always add a pinch or so of salt just before the vinegar. Not one basic cheese recipe I read called for salt but we like it a little salty.
Some very good things to add before or with the vinegar ...
chopped sun dried tomatoes
I tried adding red wine and that didn't turn out well but I'll try again.
You can also add things after it's done hanging, like nuts, herbs or pepper. The last batch I made I will divide and leave one half plain and roll one half in crushed peppercorns.
When you're done just put it in a lidded bowl or wrap in plastic wrap and put in the fridge :)
You can also make a very good cheese with lemon or lime juice. i believe it 8 Tablespoons juice to 1 gallon of milk. I've only made it a few times but it was very good.