Making Goat Cheese
It's easier than you think. Seriously. In 20 minutes the work is done and you're on your way to fresh goat cheese. In under two hours, it's done. All you need is a thermometer and cheesecloth. And it's pretty easy to get around those things. This recipe is from Serious Eats.
1 Quart of Goats Milk (Trader Joe's, Whole Foods - surprisingly Ukrop's didn't have it )
1/4 Cup Lemon Juice (about 1 1/2 lemons)
1/2 Fresh Grated Garlic Clove
Fresh Cracked Pepper
Herbs of your choice
Heat goat milk on stove top, slowly bringing up to temperature. Start out on low, then increase up to medium-low, the slowly up to medium. I never had to get above medium. Bring milk up to 180 degrees. (This is also the temperature milk simmers if you don't have a thermometer).
Have a cheese cloth laid out over a kitchen sieve or colander waiting. If you use grocery store bought cheese cloth, use two layers, and you might need to do two separate batches since it's a narrower cloth. (you can probably use paper towels if you don't have a cheese cloth.) You'll want to have this set over a large bowl to catch the whey that will drip out of the cheese.
Remove from heat when milk has reached temperature and pour in lemon juice. Give a quick stir and let it set for about 30 seconds. It will start to thicken and curdle. If it hasn't after about 30-45 seconds, add a little more lemon. I didn't have any trouble. It won't be thick or lumpy curdles, but it's thick enough that it will "set".
Slowly ladle to milk/lemon mixture into the cheese cloth. Tie the ends, and hang over a bowl, (I tied it around a wooden spoon) and let it set for 1 to 1 1/2 hours, until it's finished dripping whey.
Remove goat cheese from cheesecloth into a bowl. Congratulations. You have goat cheese. Now to make it better.
Add a few pinches of coarse salt and grate 1/2 clove of fresh garlic over it. A microplane grater is perfect for grating the garlic small enough, but any grater will do, or a very fine mince. Stir/press the salt and garlic into the cheese with a flexible spatula (I found this to be the best tool).
Voila. Now add any herbs and stir to combine.
I added rosemary (because The Wife has a rosemary fetish) and fresh cracked pepper to the goat cheese as well. It tastes fresh, creamy, and slightly tangy.
I sliced a baguette, drizzled with olive oil and baked until slightly crispy; then spread the goat cheese over top.
So easy and so good. And how impressive is it to serve homemade goat cheese at your next cocktail party?