Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Homemade Goat Cheese


easy peasy?  absolutely!...does it make you feel a little righteous making your own goat cheese?...you bet!...BUT...does it taste like yummy rich smooth french goat cheese..."Chevre"?  not really.  this didn't stop me from making it three times though...and i'll probably have another go at it this weekend.  the outcome is more like a Queso Fresco or maybe like a Farmer's Cheese.  sure it's a cheese you can be excited about creating, but don't expect a huge "goatie flavor" or any rich cheesy flavor, for that matter, until you put your own twist of flavors in the mix.  what you will have is a lovely spreadable fresh cheese to be proud of.

NOTE...i am new to this cheese making and so addicted.  i already make my own yogurt...Greek yogurt and even Icelandic yogurt called Skyr, but this whole cheese thing has me intrigued.  it's like a science project.  I should post about the Skyr soon.  it's even thicker than Greek yogurt and has the slightest tang of cheese.  
since i'm a bit late in getting this post out (i made this a couple weeks ago) i have made some tasty Farmer's Cheese and i have succeeded in making REAL goat cheese...i mean CHEVRE!...like the kind you pay for in the store.   i'll get to these posts as soon as i can...


above photos are the third go around.  third time's a charm...this one actually had some good flavors AND i did taste a little (just a little) of that yummy "tang" that you get from anything with goat's milk.  this one was created with white vinegar... it seemed to have a  much faster whey separation than with the lemon juice.

below are photos of the second try.  looks good...right texture, but at first bite i new something was askew...hmmm...couldn't quite figure out what it was.  i made this one with lemon juice.  maybe it was the Herbs de Provence that weren't quite right.  maybe it's because i didn't use ONLY STAINLESS STEEL utensils...needless to say, this one did not get devoured to the end...hate it when that happens, but made me want to try again.

if you're at all curious, like me, i DO suggest you try making some goat cheese.  you might ask yourself is this cost effective?...hmmm...sort of...BUT is it rewarding?...ABSOLUTELY!

this is really CHEESE MAKING 101...it's a great place to start.  
i googled around and found tons of recipes.  one of my favorite bloggers is Anja's Food 4 Thought.  her recipes are always good and healthy and easy to follow.  she lays out the whole goat cheese making very simple.  check out her goat cheese post HERE.

1 quart pasteurized goat milk...NOT ULTRA PASTEURIZED
1/4 cup white vinegar or lemon juice
NOTE..i tried lemon juice the 1st time and it didn't work well for me, but there could have been other factors involved in the failure...who knows?...
1 tsp sea salt...more or less
fresh herbs or flavoring of your choice...
i used fresh dill, sea salt and fresh ground pepper.

a non reactive pot...stainless is best
a thermometer
cheese cloth or muslin
a good size strainer

clean utensils and a clean environment
and a little PATIENCE!

adapted from Anja's Food 4 Thought Goat Cheese recipe...i thought her instructions were the easiest and didn't make it sound so involved...thanks to Anja

bring goat milk in a heavy bottomed pot to a boil (not quite a boil...about 185-190 F degrees).  do this slowly so as not to burn the milk on the bottom of the pot.  take off the heat and immediately stir the lemon juice...OR white vinegar (seems to work better in my experience).  leave standing for about a couple of minutes (might be 10-15 minutes) so the milk can curdle.  pour this mixture into a large cheese cloth (3 maybe 4 layers of cheese cloth) or a thin cotton towel or muslin that has been laid out over a strainer.  have the strainer in the sink or over a larger bowl to catch all the whey that will drain out.  let that sit and strain for a few minutes, then pull up the four corners and tie them up into a bag.  hang this on a wooden spoon (or whatever works) and let the bag hang free.  the whey should be able to strain out of the cheese cloth for at least 2 hours.  check on it to see if is firm enough for you.

before taking the cheese out of the bag you can squeeze the cloth by hand to extract more liquid from the cheese.  transfer the cheese from the cloth to a bowl.  season it with salt, pepper and fresh herbs.  at this point it is ready to serve, but i like to refrigerate it and firm it up a bit more.  also it gives the herbs and seasonings a chance to incorporate


Anna said...

Wow, all I can say is WOW. Your food is absolutely stupendous - so, so, inspired and beautifully presented. I take my hat off, you're a pure master!

cathy said...

So excited to see this post! I loooove goat cheese, and even if this doesn't have that classic chevre taste, I'm going to try this. It will be a great little science experiment to do with my kids. :) Can't wait to see your post on a homemade cheese that has that chevre flavor! (Oh, and the lemon juice...lemons can be really variable in their acidity. White vinegar is a great, consistent choice when acidity is a concern.)

Susie said...

Okay, I am going to give this another go, I have tried a failed, and perhaps the vinegar is the key. My only request at my new house this fall besides a knock out kitchen (like the one I'm leaving) is room for a goat, I think it would be a fine hobby!...thanks for helping to demystify the issues!

Aisha Jameel said...

Your dishes look yum ... loved the presentation of the food ! good work
you can view some of my dishes on http://kitchensojourn.blogspot.com ! i would be really happy if you follow it :)

Fiona said...

Cannot wait to go home for spring break and try this out! Also, please post about your skyr experience soon! My Siggy's yogurt habit is just not sustainable! ($2.69 for 6 oz at Whole Foods, but soooo delicious, http://skyr.com/index.html)

Anonymous said...

I have been reading Animal,vegetable, mineral which has already inspired me to make cheese. Now seeing what you have done I HAVE to make some. Your photos are wonderful can't wait to try this. Thanks. Joy. :)

Anonymous said...

I've been looking for a good home made goats cheese recipe for ages and yours seems reasonably easy to do. Are you going to be posting about the Farmer's Cheese and your later results with goats cheese? I'll look forward to those posts!

Jules and Ruby said...

hi fellow cheezzze heads...i'm working on the Chevre post and i just finished making some "Goat Skyre" flavored with vanilla bean and fresh rosemary...yummm!...so a Skyre post is coming as well. BTW, ...Skyre is a fabulous yogurt from Iceland...

Alex Staff said...

If I have to give my opinion about this cheese, I'll say that it looks great. I may not look like it, but I also like making cheese and I've only just started recently. And thanks for reminding us that giving up is never an option for this.

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