Mmm, goat cheese. The Meryl Streep of cheeses–elegant and light, and uh, creamy and tangy? Equally perfect breaded and fried for a salad or crumbled over enchiladas?
While I don’t know that much about the actress, I do know a lot about soft goat cheese, or chèvre. It’s one of my favorite cheeses–isn’t it everyone’s? I love how you can use it in almost any application, from a simple sprinkle over a salad to a good, old fashioned cheese plate, to a filling for buttermilk biscuits with blueberry compote (yum!). Most cheeses don’t work equally well in both sweet and savory applications, and I like to think that’s where goat cheese shines.
Just like sweet yet sassy friend, Meryl.
Did you know that a lot of goat cheeses are not vegetarian? Most are made with an animal-based rennet, so I love that this recipe is vegetarian. Not only that, it’s preservative-free, and you can definitely pronounce every ingredient included.
I tried making mozzarella once–I mean, really making mozzarella. I’d semi-successfully completed that “quick mozzarella” bit, where you just heat and stretch and all that mess once, but I decided that taking on “serious” mozzarella-making might yield a more, you know, perfect result.
So after hours and hours or tip-toeing into the kitchen to check on its temperature, gently moving my pot a little to the left under the stove light to better maintain 93º or whatever, and basically giving myself 3rd-degree burns from stretching too-hot curds, I was almost there. It was around 9:15 at night, and I whipped out my handy pH-tester that was required by the recipe.
And…… nothing. The thing had promptly stopped working, right on time. That would’ve almost been fine, but considering it was 15 minutes past Home Depot’s closing time, I ended up despairingly admitting defeat, made a quick brine out of the whey, and ate this weird feta-like farmer’s cheese-type.. thing.. for weeks in our salads.
So you can imagine my skepticism when I came upon a simple goat cheese recipe that took only about 2 hours and required two ingredients. Yet I trudged forward, glaring towards the kitchen during the draining period, certain that I’d end up with a mess of sludge-like curds and absolutely nothing to do with them.
But instead, 2 hours and 2 ingredients later, I was instead surprised by the sweetest mound of fresh chèvre, fluffy and light, perfectly tangy and creamy. Has my cheese-making curse been lifted? I have no idea. But I can tell you I think I’ll be avoiding the days-long cheese-making ventures in the future and sticking with this unbelievable chèvre method.
Make sure you use a non-reactive pot, as something like aluminum will end up leaching into the milk. Yuck. My recommendation? Stainless steel.
Some awesome uses for fresh goat cheese are my biscuits with goat cheese and blueberry compote, crumbled over your everyday enchiladas (my own veggie recipe coming soon!), or in a spinach salad with strawberries, pecans, and a balsamic vinaigrette. Yum!
- 1 quart goat milk , not ultra pasteurized
- ⅓ cup fresh lemon juice
- Make the goat cheese: in a non-reactive pot, heat the goat milk slowly on the stove over low heat until it reaches about 180 to 185º. You should see gentle bubbles and the surface will start to look a bit foamy. Turn off the heat.
- Stir in the lemon juice and let sit off the heat for 10 minutes. The milk should curdle and start to become a bit thicker on the surface. Line a colander with two layers of cheesecloth and very gently pour the milk-lemon mixture into the lined colander. Gather the cheesecloth up around the curds and tie into a budle, using kitchen twine or a rubberband.
- Set the colander over a large bowl, pot, or jar, so the liquid (the whey) can drip out. Let drain for at least 1 1/2 hours or overnight. Scrape the goat cheese off the cheesecloth and into a small bowl or airtight container (if not ready to use right away) with a spoon.
Number of total servings shown is approximate. Actual number of servings will depend on your preferred portion sizes.
Nutritional values shown are general guidelines and reflect information for 1 serving using the ingredients listed, not including any optional ingredients. Actual macros may vary slightly depending on specific brands and types of ingredients used.
To determine the weight of one serving, prepare the recipe as instructed. Weigh the finished recipe, then divide the weight of the finished recipe (not including the weight of the container the food is in) by the desired number of servings. Result will be the weight of one serving.