Easy Goat Cheese Recipe
A few weeks ago I visited my new Facebook friend, Andrea Duncan, to buy some fresh, organic chicken eggs. I grew up for a good part of my childhood on a sheep station (ranch) in Australia, so I’m a country girl at heart. I wanted real eggs; the kind that come in varied colors, sizes, and because they still have a protective coating provided by nature, don’t have to be refrigerated.
Turns out, I got more than I bargained for. Andrea has chickens, turkeys, guinea hens, peacocks, horses, and goats. And along with the eggs, she offered me some fresh goat’s milk.
What was I going to do with goat’s milk? Make goat cheese, of course! Except, wait, I’d never made cheese in my life. I imagined it was difficult, time consuming, and required unusual ingredients, special equipment, and perhaps magical skills. Not so! This delicious, fresh goat cheese is quick and easy to make, and a fun experience. Serve with crackers, rounds of crusty French bread or toast, over pasta, salads, or as a topping for pizza.
Goat’s milk is available in many health food stores and supermarkets. Avoid ultra-pasteurized, and use unpasteurized if available from a good source.
Instant read or candy thermometer
4 cups of organic, fresh goat milk (don’t use ultra-pasteurized).
1/4 cup fresh lemon juice
Sea salt (to taste)
1. Bring goat milk to 180 degrees Fahrenheit on instant read thermometer.
2. Remove from heat and add lemon juice. Stir gently to incorporate.
3. Let sit for about 15 minutes. You will see curds form and settle to the bottom. If not, add more lemon juice.
4. Meanwhile, line a colander with about 8 single layers of cotton cheesecloth, allowing enough to drape over the sides. Sit colander over a deep saucepan.
5. With a ladle, gently spoon curds into cheesecloth. Let it rest till most of the whey has drained out.
7. Remove cheese to a bowl and break apart with a fork to crumble. Add salt to taste and your favorite fresh herbs, finely chopped. I like a combination of chives and shallots, or garlic and chives. You can also add dried fruit and a little honey for a sweet flavored cheese.
8. If cheese is too crumbly, mix in a small amount of milk or cream and gently press cheese into a small mold, such as a ramekin, then turn out onto a plate.