Make Your Own Chèvre – Goat Cheese
The more I dabble in “making my own _______ ” (from cleaners to kefir / crackers to planters … the list keeps growing!) One thing has become very apparent: confidence breeds more confidence! There is so much satisfaction in not only knowing how to make things yourself, but in DOING IT! It’s a wonderful feeling!
Let’s talk goat cheese! Amazing flavor and so versatile! A little pricy at the store for my taste so when I was offered fresh goat milk to make it with I couldn’t resist! Joy Filled Acres in Powhatan VA is operated by a dear friend who has taught me so much! Always learning … life would be boring if I ever stopped learning! 🙂
The easiest version of chèvre, in my opinion, results in a ricotta-textured cheese. But I will be posting the outcome of my mozzarella and pudding adventures as well!
Aside from the milk, you’ll need cheesecloth, a stock pot, a strainer or steamer basket, apple cider vinegar, salt, and a candy thermometer! The process isn’t hard at all and it doesn’t take long!
For one gallon of milk, you’ll use 1/4 – 1/2 cup of apple cider vinegar. (I’ve used both measurements to experiment on taste.) I prefer using closer to 1/2 cup of the vinegar.
Just heat the milk to 185 degrees – when it reaches that temperature, remove from heat and while stirring, add the apple cider vinegar. I stir occasionally and let it remain in the stock pot for 5 minutes or so before slowly pouring into cheesecloth-lined strainer. I say “slowly” because the weave of the cheesecloth can separate from pressure resulting in a larger than desired hole.
After straining for 20 minutes, stir in 1/2 tsp salt and any herb you desire. Chives make a fantastic flavored cheese!
My first batch I immediately reached for my sourdough bread and toasted it… oh.my.goodness.
It didn’t take long for my family to gobble that batch up. My next batch I decided to try a generous amount mixed in with ground venison (along with jalapeño, egg, and some rolled oats) for grilled burgers. I am not joking when I tell you these were the best tasting burgers I’ve ever had! I topped them with provolone and fermented dill cucumbers. I didn’t even use a condiment on it – Hello??? that’s a big statement right there! I was a devoted mayo and mustard fan!
Beautiful on a salad as well! The possibilities just keep going! We have used it to top breaded eggplant and sauce, and even processed some in a food processor with ham, a dash of garlic powder and a little butter to cream it up and stuff jalapeños for grilling! Amazing. Just amazing.
So! Adding this to my list of items I can make myself – it’s fun, painless, inexpensive, and DELICIOUS! Do you make cheese??? What kind? Are there items you’ve made yourself that have you particularly giddy? Share with us! We want to know!