Wednesday, March 03, 2010

Goat Cheese!

Last week, fellow Richmond food bloggers One Couple's Kitchen wrote about their experiment making homemade goat cheese based on a recipe from Serious Eats. The process sounded remarkably easy and jived with my growing urge to know the chemistry and mechanics behind the making of food. I want to step beyond just cooking and using ingredients and understand how to create my own ingredients. That's really one of the goals for 2010. In this case, I knew Trader Joe's was stocking goat's milk, so it was easy to make a go of it.

All it requires is a quart of goat's milk, lemon, salt, garlic, cheese cloth and a food thermometer, and an hour and a half of your time. That's all.

We came back from Sunday dinner with the neighbors. I poured the milk in a stainless pot and watched until the thermometer hit 180ยบ. The recipe called for a quarter cup of lemon juice, but I was working with whole lemons and seem to have lost (or purged) my juicer. I juiced a lemon and a half through a strainer to curdle the milk and waited for 20 seconds or so while the curdle happened. The curd then went into the cheese cloth — we used about eight layers to be sure that it held the curd — and I drew up the corners. Tie the satchel on a wooden spoon over a large bowl, and then wait.

When it was finished, I mixed it with a crushed clove of garlic and three pinches of good salt and let it stand, covered over night. That's it. So simple.

We tried it with friends the next night, and it was a hit. I would say it was a touch on the lemony side, and I think I'll be tempted to source some milk that is not ultra-pasteurized in the future. That said, this is one that I'll keep coming back to.

Next up: Corned beef, more cheese and returning to making hummus.