Easy Cheesy: making chèvre.

3 Jul

Cheese making seems like it should be some kind of fancy, convoluted process.  Chèvre is amazingly simple to make.  The most difficult part of the proces is probably finding a supplier to get the culture from.  I get cheese cultures at Brooklyn Kitchen in Williamsburg.  The packets come with the directions right on them:

The day I made my cheese, it was about 86 degrees in my kitchen, so I let the gallon of goat milk warm to room temperature, added my packet of C2OG, let it sit for a couple minutes, stirred it in, and left the covered pot in a cooler room all day while I went to a picnic.  I don’t have butter muslin, but later I put the curds into a kitchen towel lined colander, tied the corners of the towel to a wooden spoon which I placed over the top of my big stock pot.  The towel of curd hung in the stockpot over night and then I scooped up the dried curds into a container.

If you want to be fancy, you can shape your chèvre into crottins and then flavor them.  “Crottin” literally means poop.  This time around, I made a little poop of chèvre and rolled it in some fresh tarragon, and dill from my fire-escape garden, and black pepper.

I would guess that the wonderfulness of goat cheese has mostly to do with the quality of your goat milk.  Get the best quality milk that you can find.  Mine is made with a raw milk, so you can’t get this stuff in the stores– they can only legally sell raw cheeses that have been aged at least 60 days.  Here’s an interesting article about cheese protocall:  http://hartkeisonline.com/raw-milk-cheese-2/raw-milk-cheese-vs-heat-treated-cheese/.

Here’s a finished crottin of chèvre, rolled in fresh herbs from my fire-escape garden.

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