Creative Sustenance

Culinary and other adventures in foraging, gardening, urban farming and more, in Wisconsin and the Midwest.

Goat Cheese

This past weekend we lent a hand (literally) to friends Brian & Christine, by agreeing to milk one of their goats while the couple took a day off to head out of town for their anniversary. Nina, one of a dozen or so goats Christine has, had lost her kid and needed to be milked three times while the two still-kind-of-newlyweds were away. We got a little more than a half-gallon total from Nina. 

Nina   (click all images to enlarge)

While goat milk tastes great all by itself I instead decided to make a little goat cheese from what we had. This particular recipe for goat cheese couldn't be any easier or quicker. I think, all-told, it didn't take more than an hour, and I dawdled at that. The simple recipe also lends itself to a lot of flexibility in the final product, depending on what you choose to add to the finished cheese. I chose to make a savory goat cheese, by adding the herbs thyme, summer savory and a little rosemary, along with garlic. But you could just as easily make a sweet or fruity cheese by adding things such as blueberries, honey, or figs.

Ingredients:

  • 2 quarts goat milk
  • 1/2 cup fresh lemon juice
  • sea salt
  • fresh herbs (thyme, summer savory, rosemary) or berries, honey, etc.
  • garlic clove finely diced

Other gear:

  • cheesecloth
  • thermometer
  • large bowl
  • deep sauce pan
  • wooden spoon and/or spatula
  • sieve (I used a cocktail strainer)

Heat milk in sauce pan to 180°, stirring constantly.

At 180° drizzle the lemon juice into the milk and gently stir to mix.

Ladle the curds into the cheesecloth.

Procedure:

  1. Heat milk in sauce pan to 180°, stirring constantly.
  2. Once you hit 180° drizzle the lemon juice into the milk and gently stir to mix.
  3. Let milk/lemon juice sit until small curds form, which should be almost immediate (maybe 10 seconds or so).
  4. Set a double layer of cheese cloth into a deep bowl and ladle, with a small strainer, the curds into the cheesecloth.
  5. Bring the corners of the cheesecloth together and tie them (2 loose knots, from opposing corners) but leave enough room or play under the knots to get a wooden spoon through. The cheesecloth bag will hang from the wooden spoon over the bowl, allowing the curds to drain the whey into the bowl. this shouldn't take long; maybe 5 or 10 minutes.
  6. Remove the drained cheese from the cloth and add the herbs, garlic and sea salt to taste. Mix everything together well.
  7. Press the cheese into a mold (I just used a small bowl), and that's that. 

Curds and whey.

Let the curds drain for about 10 minutes.

Mix in your herbs and/or fruit.

You can eat it right away...make some bruschetta, for example...or wrap it and store it in the fridge for a week or so. I like to let it sit in the fridge for at least a day to let the cheese, herbs and garlic get to know one another a little better. I tell you, this is so easy and so tasty that my desire to get a couple goats is getting more serious with every bite.

Finished goat cheese.

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