Thursday, July 7, 2011

On Making Simple Goat Cheese

Here is the post several people have e-mailed or face booked me for.

Also, my dear hubby bought me new camera. It's a little cannon that I can keep trading up for if I want. Thanks Wendy for telling me about that. I had no idea Cannon had an upgrade program. Luke knows how addicted I am to taking pictures and that we are going on our first huge vacation in just a few weeks.

Anyway......How to Make Goat Cheese.
Just a preface here: I am no expert. This is simply what I've read and have attempted with the resources that I already have on hand. This type of cheese is most like Chev re or Cream Cheese or Ricotta.

First things first, when you are making Goat Cheese you need one of these or access to their milk:

(We can hook you up if you want.) ; D
We use all stainless steel equipment because it is the easiest to sterilize. I am lucky that my dishwasher has a restaurant-type sanitizer cycle because I truly truly HATE the amount of dishes that milking goats produces on top of the normal amount of dishes that a family of six well as babysitting 9 months out of the year. I think I'd go insane if I didn't have a dishwasher.

Next: You need to hear a gallon of milk to 190 degrees in a sterilized (and I prefer stainless steel once again) pan. Stir it constantly. Boiled over milk is absolutely disgusting and hard to get off your stove once it's burnt on. (trust me, I've done it several times).Once your milk has hit 190, pull it off and let it cool down to 100 degrees.

Once it has cooled, you can add either 1/4 cup of APPLE CIDER VINEGAR or LEMON CONCENTRATE. I haven't found the taste to be much different between the two.
Stir it up and it will curdle like this:

(Now I understand the little rhyme Little Miss Muffet who sat on her tuffet eating her curds and whey). I used to think it was porridge. It's not. And the thought of eating or drinking this is utterly revolting.
If you have Cheese Cloth great, I didn't and didn't want to buy it if I didn't have to. I have some old flour sack tea towels that I washed with unscented soap (I have to for our allergy kids anyway) and then dried without using any fabric softener. The idea of possibly tasting fabric softener is kinda' gross too.

I hung it over my mixing bowl and put a rubber band around the edge of the bowl to keep it from slipping off. We also have a milk filter for filtering the milk right after milking. I use one of those on top my cheese cloth to catch all the curds. It's not necessary though. Let it drip all through. It might take an hour or more.
Then I hang it up and let it drip for a couple hours more...squeezing it every so often to help it along. I jimmy-rigged it here in my cupboard. I fell out a couple of times until I sandwiched it between my plates.

I spooned out the cheese and scraped the sides of the cloth to get all I could (another reason not to have used fabric softener if using flour sack type dishtowels.

Here's your finished result with a little sea salt and chopped up basil from my garden! I'm going to get some sun dried tomatoes and make another batch with that and garlic.

Hmmmmm!!!! It's really yummy on crackers or as a veggie dip.
And EVERYONE but the one boy who we started this all out for likes it. Fortunately, he likes it in dishes that I've started cooking it with and I can start making some of his favorite foods again that I haven't made in two years.

His little brother loves it though...especially with some chocolate chips that he got into while I wasn't looking.

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