Sunday, August 21, 2011

August 21, 2011: Chevre Cheese Recipe


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I decided that I was going to use this weekend to do some projects I’ve had in mind for a while. I happened by a small farmer’s market on Wednesday and stopped. There I bought some cucumbers to make pickles and I also got lucky enough to buy a quart of goat’s milk. It’s luck because legally you can’t sell the stuff (our government thinks we’re too dumb to realize the dangers of drinking fresh, unpasteurized milk). I’m not a big milk drinker but I absolutely love cheese! So I did a bit of sleuthing online and found some easy recipes for goat’s milk chevre (soft, bland) cheese.

I learned a lot while making my first batch of cheese. For one thing, a quart of goat’s milk doesn’t make much cheese (I got about a quarter cup out of it, although that was probably my own fault because I poured some of it into the cheesecloth instead of ladling). For another, it doesn’t taste like much until you put some seasonings in it. I also added a layer of olive oil to make it less dry.

But overall, making cheese was fun and something I’ll do again in the future. Here’s the recipe I used.

Chevre Cheese

1 quart unpasteurized goat’s milk
1/3 cup fresh lemon juice
Salt, garlic, and herbs, such as fennel, chives, dill, sundried tomatoes, etc.

In a saucepan, heat the milk to 180 degrees (although the instructions I had said it shouldn’t take more than 15 minutes, it took about half an hour for my milk to reach the appropriate temperature). Remove it from the heat and add in the lemon juice. This will make the milk curdle – but don’t expect something resembling cottage cheese; the mixture will still be thin.

Place a quadrupled length of cheesecloth over a colander resting over a big bowl. Slowly ladle the curdled milk into the middle of the cheesecloth. Do not pour the pan of milk over the cheesecloth because you’ll end up wasting a lot of curds. When you’ve gathered all the curds, tie up your cheesecloth parcel and attach it to the handle of a wooden spoon. Let the parcel sit over a bowl for at least an hour and a half, to allow the whey to drain.

When the cheese is completely drained, scrape it into a bowl and add salt (I used garlic salt for extra flavor) and herbs (I used chives and a bit of garlic from a jar). Store in the refrigerator for up to a week.

Tip: You can add this cheese to just about anything... use it on crackers, put it in an omelet, top a baked potato, make a quesadilla - the possibilities are nearly endless!

2 comments:

  1. One gallon of cow milk only makes about 1/2 pound of cheese. Seems like such a waste, but using the whey is good in all kinds of things. If more people thought about what goes into making cheese and how little comes out of a lot....people might not complain about the prices, etc.

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  2. You know, Tami, I never even thought about using the whey for anything, I just poured it down the drain. Drat! I'll remember that next time. What kind of dishes would it be good to use in?

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