CHEVRE...aka Goat Cheese
finally, i have mastered the real deal.
i received the best compliment i could imagine...
"this tastes just like the cheese we had in Paris"
my obsession with cheese and yogurts has not subsided...yet.
there is something sooooo satisfying about making your own dairy products. i'm asked all the time,
"why don't you just buy it?"...
i love the whole science of it and the smell of cheese and yogurt hanging in the fridge, but most of all it's the anticipation...
"is it ready yet?...when do i get to eat it !?"
goat cheese is one of my favorites of the cheese family...it's such a versatile product that can be eaten as is or as a star ingredient.
recently i came across what i am now calling my favorite dessert of the season...the year...probably in my all-time top ten.
it's a Lemon Goat Cheese Cake found at Foodbabbles.com i was able to use some of my homemade goat cheese and, of course, it sent it to the top of the list.
i'll be posting about it soon...it is a MUST TRY !!! please visit Kate's blog and see for yourself this wonder-treat. she has great photos and step by step instructions for a no-fail winner.
back to the goat cheese...
there are a few ways to make your own goat cheese and i have tried these easy methods (as seen in this post) using lemon or vinegar...this is before i knew any better..
but this method and recipe is FAR SUPERIOR !
one very important ingredient you will need is the right culture. i found mine at a home brewing company out in Mission Viejo, CA. there are also places to get this over the Internet...buy your rennet at a big health food store.
i've just ran out of my little packets of Mesophilic culture so i might want to try the packets available HERE at the Cheese making Company.com. their packets contain the culture and the rennet all in one so there is no mixing and no room for error. the beginner kit looks good, but not really necessary to get all the extras. i was wondering how different culture will effect the out come...i'll have to get back to you on this.
there are many many many blogs and sites on how to make homemade goat cheese and some of the instructions get too involved...this is a really easy process...even i got it right the first time.
i thought who better to go-to than a woman who owns her own goats...Martha Stewart!...and she probably has some prize winning goats at that.
honestly...does she really make her own goat cheese?...or does she have someone do it for her...
HOMEMADE CHEVRE...GOAT CHEESE
this is for 1/2 the original recipe found at link above
1/2 gallon (2qts) pasteurized goat milk...NOT ultra pasteurized
1/8 tsp powdered Mesophilic DVI culture..1 used 1 packet Mesophilic MW3 from Mad Millie
1-2 drops liquid rennet
1 tsp kosher salt (or to your taste)
1. add goat milk to a large non reactive sauce pan or stock pot. use low-medium heat until the milk reaches exactly 75 F degrees on an instant read thermometer.
2. add the powdered culture and the liquid rennet to a small bowl. add 2 Tbsp of the warm milk and stir until well combined (no lumps of culture). add this small mixture to the large pot of warm goat milk. cover and leave at room temperature overnight. i have left it for 15-20 hours.
3. cut the set curds across the pot and again the other way. same as seen here in my Skyr post for Icelandic Yogurt.
set a large colander over a large pot/bowl and line with double layer cheese cloth or i prefer a nice clean square of reusable muslin. the bowl underneath the colander must be big enough to catch quite a bit of whey that will drain. carefully transfer the mixture into the colander. Martha says to cover this with cheesecloth, i just covered it with a lid that fit on top of the colander.
let this set at room temperature overnight...mine sat about 15 hours.
remove from cheesecloth, discard liquid and transfer cheese to bowl and mix in salt (and, or other flavors)...don't forget to taste test. it's a lot easier to flavor the cheese before it is chilled and you want it to incorporate if using fresh herbs.
store in refrigerator in airtight container, ramekin or shape into log wrapping in plastic wrap.
i took 1/2 the cheese and shaped it into a log for a more spreadable cheese and the other 1/2 i kept in the muslin and let hang in the fridge for another 8 hours. this created a more crumbly cheese.