Sunday, February 3, 2013

Homemade Goat Cheese

Copyright 2013 LtDan'sKitchen blogs
This was a project I undertook upon the urging of my friend Mae. She has been into baking and cooking a lot lately so I may have found my kitchen soul mate in a way. We have been best friends since the 6th grade so I guess that makes sense. Anyway, she has been telling me about this source for goat milk and she has been asking me what we can do with it. Since I never drink milk other than cow's milk, I suggested that we make goat cheese.

I love goat cheese and while I was still living in the US, I buy them during special occasions. They are a bit expensive but boy are they delicious. When added into a salad with arugula and roasted beets, they are transformed into something heavenly. 

Copyright 2013 LtDan'sKitchen blogs
Despite my hectic schedule this weekend, I had to find the time to make the cheese. One, the milk was already there in my fridge. It will not last for more than a week since it is fresh milk. Second, I am so excited to give it a try and have a bit of taste. I have been imagining it on sliced bread with a drizzling of extra virgin olive oil and my mouth is already watering. 

The process of making goat cheese is very similar to making Indian paneer. The only difference is of course the milk. After looking at a few websites and blogs, I finally found a recipe which I could work with. I just have to make sure it does not dry up like paneer which is is usually fried and cooked in a curry sauce. With goat cheese, you want it to be soft with a texture that resembles cream cheese. To achieve this effect though, one important gadget is a good candy thermometer. It is essential that you do not overheat your milk. Trust me on this. Otherwise, you basically spoil a ton of perfectly good batch of fresh milk. Another precaution is to keep an eye on it when draining the whey. Drain it until you have achieved the consistency you like. I stopped draining my cheese about 10 minutes after I poured the curdled milk through a cotton sieve.

Homemade Goat Cheese

4 quarts fresh goat milk
4 large lemons, juiced
1 tsp coarse salt
olive oil
dried herbs (lavender, tarragon, basil, chives or any dried herbs you like)

Copyright 2013 LtDan'sKitchen blogs
1. In a large work, heat 
    the milk over medium 
    heat until you reach a 
    temperature of 180°F. 
    Stir occasionally with a 
    wooden spoon. Turn 
    off the heat.

2. Add the lemon juice and
    stir with the spoon. 
    Allow to curdle and 
    leave it for another 5 

3. In a large colander lined with cheesecloth, pour the milk mixture and 
    gather the edges. Tighten the cheesecloth and drain as much liquid 
    as possible. Allow to drain for another 10 minutes until cool enough to 

4. Check for flavor and you can season the cheese with more salt and the 
    herbs at this point. Fresh garlic aside from dried herbs are also 
    considered as classic flavoring agents to the fresh cheese. 

5. Shape into the desired shape and drizzle with olive oil to coat the cheese. 
    Store in the fridge for about a week. 

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