Ohiofarmgirl's Adventures in The Good Land is largely a fish out of water tale about how I eventually found my footing on a small farm in an Amish town. We are a mostly organic, somewhat self sufficient, sustainable farm in Ohio. There's action and adventure and I'll always tell you the truth about farming.

Friday, April 22, 2011

Making Fresh Goat Cheese - Chevre

Ohmigosh I nearly forgot it was Farm Friends Friday!  Happy Friday everyone!

Step One of cheesemaking: Go and milk your goat! Like Vita here

I'm so proud of my pal, "J" - she got her first goats, survived the first kidding, and even saved a goat from a "here hold my beer and watch this" escapade. She's working on cheese now - after she got supplies from Leener's - but is still working on finding the "perfect" fresh goat cheese recipe. I thought I'd help her out with how I make our fresh goat cheese. Come on along and lets all get cheesey together!

This morning I got about a gallon of milk from Debbie and Nibbles. So I brought it in and strained it directly into my stainless steel pot.
The culture - its freeze dried and comes in this cute little container. Just 1/4 teaspoon is all you need.

Then, loosely using the recipe from FiascoFarms, I added 1/4 teaspoon of mesophilic culture. I let the culture sit on top of the milk to rehydrate for about five minutes.

Break up the tablet..you'll need a bit less than 1/4 of the tablet.

The recipe calls for an obscure amount of liquid rennet. But I don't care for the liquid rennet and use tablets. So I had to do some fancy improvising. Actually it wasn't very fancy improvising... with as exact as cheesemaking can be, its OK to fudge a little if you need to.

Mash it up and dissolve in a little water

If you don't use liquid rennet, the substitution for the tablets is:
1/2 tablet = 1/4 teaspoon of liquid rennet
1 tablet = 1/2 teaspoon of liquid rennet

But what if you only need "a drop"? For heavens sakes just fake it. I break up a tablet and use a little less than 1/4 tablet dissolved in a little water. Mash it up really well and then stir until its dissolved in maybe 1/8th of a cup of water.
Stir it up!

Now stir the culture into the milk with a stainless steel spoon - its been about five minutes. Then add the rennet and stir some more. Put a lid on the pot and let it sit somewhere over nite.

Whey on top (the liquidy stuff) and one big curd clump at the bottom.

You should have a "clean break" and some whey sitting on top of the curds in the morning. Now just line a colander with cheese cloth and carefully pour in the curds and whey. I always set the colander on top of a bucket to collect it for the hens or the compost pile. Cover the whole shootin' match with a lid and let it set until the next day. And that's it!

Drain the curds thru cheese cloth. Don't forget to save the whey!

You can salt the cheese and put it in a container in the fridge or use immedately.

Use it for what, you ask? Heck, anything. Add some spices and eat on crackers, spread on a bagel with a little honey on top for a morning treat, stir into a pasta dish, or use like ricotta for lasagna. We also make grilled sandwiches with it, bruschetta, use it on pizza...heck.. its so versatile the options are limitless. Another great use is for hot dips. I've been heating up fresh goat cheese and salsa...which is really delish.

The only thing I don't like it for is a subsitute for cream cheese in sweet baked goods. For savory baked goods like focaccia bread - its perfect, but for cream cheese-based pies.. its just not to may taste.

So what do you think? Are you ready for the cheese challenge? Now get out there and make some cheese!

Happy Farm Friends Friday everyone! Thanks Verde Farms for this fun blog hop!


Larkrise garden girl said...

Thanks for sharing that was so interesting! Cheri

Leslie @ Farm Fresh Fun said...

OOOh, THANK YOU! I'm eager to try cheese making but sooo intimidated... I'm *not* a "jump right in and learn as you go" kinda gal, so I read n read n read some more! You made this look do-able! I'll be back soon to catch up on more of your great blog. :-)
Have blessed and beautiful Easter!

Faith said...

I love goat cheese..is it called
Chevre? I would love to taste your cheese you are making..I would love to get my hands on fresh
goats milk too..we are many hour drive from a farm up here in Cleveland..

Happy Easter.

Chai Chai said...

Doesn't look too hard, can't wait to get started. Now I just need to find out where I can get a tuffet...

Lindsey at NW Backyard Veggies said...

I took a cheese making class at our local farm down the road (so cute - in her kitchen. It was a blast.) And we made the cows milk equivalent of what you made.
Delicious doesn't describe it.

Sara said...

You make it sound easy. I'd like to try some someday. :)

Mr. H. said...

Makes me want to get a goat....well almost.

Ohiofarmgirl said...

Thanks for stopping by, Cheri!

Nah, Leslie, its totally easy peasy. Plus, if you mess up just give it to the chickens! Have a great Easter also!

Yep, Faith, 'fresh goat cheese' is usually called "chevre." Its what you would get if you bought Laura Chenel's Chèvre in the store.

Go get that tuffet, Chai Chai, and get your cheese on! You'll love it!

Lindsey, thats GREAT that you could take a class! I had to wing-it because I couldn't find one around here.

Sara, it really is that easy-peasy.

Maybe not today, Mr. H. Something spooked Vita and she kicked the bucket. Of milk that is.. dang... ugh! Fortunately we had some nearby barncats....

Unknown said...

...so far it is much easier than I thought it would be -I'll be making pressed cheeses before ya know it! Thanks for the tutorial OFG :)

Chai Chai said...

Just in case any of the "Posse" get ideas about ambushing the Easter Bunny tomorrow......


Happy Easter

Ohiofarmgirl said...

No problem, Java - and don't forget to announce when you are cutting the cheese....curds.

Oh golly, Chai Chai - you've got the cats all hiding under beds! No bunny will be coming here soon!

Teresa said...

I am very ready for some goat cheese, but I need one of my girls to get ready for me to milk!

Ohiofarmgirl said...

Its so easy-peasy, Teresa,you will love it!

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