In a stainless steel, heavy-bottomed saucepan, bring the milk to a simmer over medium heat. Remove from heat and set aside until the milk is cooled. Whisk in the buttermilk.
Transfer the mixture to a glass, ceramic or plastic container, and set aside at room temperature until the mixture is thickened, with a consistency similar to yogurt or crème fraîche, about 1 day.
Transfer the mixture to a cheesecloth-lined strainer set over a bowl. Refrigerate overnight to drain the whey from the cheese; the whey should be clear, not cloudy, as it is drained.
Use as desired. To store, place the cheese in a glass, ceramic or plastic container. Cover and refrigerate up to four days.
Each of 20 tablespoons: 19 calories; 1 gram protein; 2 grams carbohydrates; 0 fiber; 1 gram fat; 1 gram saturated fat; 3 mg cholesterol; 2 grams sugar; 19 mg sodium.
Copyright © Noelle Carter 2012. Recipe reprinted from the Los Angeles Times
"In order for it to grow around the world, it needs to be bred by plant breeders down to lower altitude," says journalist Lisa Hamilton. "The trouble is that those seeds -- that genetic diversity -- are owned by the people of the Andes."