I was having serious doubts about this one…it just seemed too good to be true.
While watching television a while back, I came across a recipe for Homemade Goat’s Cheese. I was instantly torn between two states of mind. First, I was excited. Was it possible that I could actually make my own goat’s cheese at home? I sat shocked as I watched the recipe being demonstrated, “Wow! That’s so cool.”
Then came the cynicism. “Hmmm…but it looks too good to be true. I bet it tastes crappy.” I mean, if it was so good how come I had never heard of it before. Despite my doubts, I was motivated. It seemed so easy, so simple that I figured the recipe would be worth the effort even if it flopped.
I was so excited that almost I immediately put on my coat and headed out of the door to the grocery store. I only had to pick up two ingredients: goat’s milk and lemons. All was fine until I started looking for the goat’s milk.
There was none in sight.
How could this be? The chef on television proclaimed that goat’s milk “is now readily available in most supermarkets.” I asked a stockperson who was working around the diary section if he knew where I could find the goat’s milk. He was puzzled and confused.
Ultimately, I went to three stores before I finally came across a local specialty food store that carried goat’s milk. Ugh!
Was it worth it? Yes! Making the cheese was fun. And more importantly, it was actually very delish. The goat’s milk gives the cheese a rich, deep and earth flavor. The lemon juice adds a nice counter – a bright acidity that hangs around in the background.
Definitely a dish that would be a hit at a party or with your kids.
NOTE: I originally made this cheese using goat’s milk. Since then I’ve tried the recipe using regular old whole cow’s milk from the grocery store. I think that I may like the cow’s milk cheese even better – it’s more subtle then goat’s milk and blends well with the lemon juice.
HOMEMADE GOAT CHEESE
1 quart goats’ or regular cow’s milk
juice of 2 lemons
coarse salt (1/4 TSP or to taste)
2 TSP dill, finely chopped
Freshly ground pepper (1/8 TSP or to taste)
Gently heat milk in a heavy medium sized saucepan until it reaches 180 degrees on an instant-read thermometer. Remove from heat and stir in lemon juice. Let stand until set, about 15-30 minutes. If milk does not set, add a little more lemon juice.
Line a colander with several layers of cheesecloth. Ladle set milk into colander. Tie the four corners of cheesecloth together; hang on the handle of a wooden spoon set over a deep bowl and let drain until it is the consistency of slightly dry cottage cheese, 1 to 2 hours (depending on the consistency that you are looking for. Shorter drain time means gives you a creamier texture, longer draining gives the cheese a crumbly texture). Transfer to a bowl and fold in salt, pepper and herbs. Store in an airtight container, refrigerated, up to 1 week.
Makes 8 to 10 ounces.