Saturday, 2 June 2012

Chevre if you're Frenchy, goat cheese if you're a hillbilly like me

Guys, I have to share this with you: making goat cheese is SO EASY I have no idea why everyone doesn't do it. I mean, unless they don't like goat cheese or whatever. Here is my goat cheese photo-essay.

Step one: Buy goat milk. (Make sure it doesn't say "ultra-patsteurized.")

Step two: Pour it in a pan and turn it on a low-ish heat setting (I have an electric stove and chose about 3 1/2).  Stir it once in a while, but don't stand over it or anything.

Step three: When it gets to 185, take it off the heat. You have two choices here. 1 -- walk away. Come back in like 45 minutes, when it's about 100 degrees. 2 -- put it in an ice bath and stir it until the temperature comes down to 100. But watch it, because it goes fast. I used the ice bath method 'cause I had shit to do.

IMG_2489 Step four: Get a lemon. Juice it. Add the juice. (This was a little less than 1/2 cup for me, because I grow monster-big lemons. I have it on good authority that you can use less lemon juice, but I kind of think it adds to the flavor.)

Step five: Wait.

Step six: Does it look chunky? Good. Pour it into a strainer lined with cheesecloth (folded-up) or a loose-weave tea towel over a deep bowl. Walk away. For a while. When you come back, with any luck, there'll be solids in the strainer and liquids in the bowl. The solids are cheese.

Step seven: Scrape cheese into bowl. Add salt to taste and stir. Boom, done.

Here's what I like about it: I just made half a goddamn pound of goat cheese for $3.80. (In the store, it hovers around a buck an ounce, so this would be like $8 worth of cheese.) You can add herbs, pepper, more or less salt, and basically customize your cheese.

Oh and hey, also? Now you have a bowl full of leftover shit-that-is-not-cheese. Good news! That shit is called whey, and it's, like, totally useful. Okay, I admit -- I threw it out the first two times I made cheese, because I didn't know what to do with it. But then I used the almighty Google, and found out you can add it to smoothies, bread dough, and waffle batter, and I was like, okay. So I tried all those things, and they were great! In fact, it gave my bread a really sourdough-like flavor. But this time, I'm not sure what I'm going to do with it, because I found out you can also use it to water tomato and blueberry plants (they love the acid), and you can spray it on any plants that get that powdery mildew stuff, and it will revive them. So I might promise this batch to my garden.

Enjoy your cheese!

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