Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Chevre – A Taste of France

Chevre cheese is one of my all time favorite’s to make. It is a soft goat cheese that resembles cream cheese and makes wonderful deserts and spreads. It adapts very well to the seasonings that are added to it and it has a very mild flavor.

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Add 5 quarts of goat’s milk to a stock pot and warm to 80 degrees.
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Stir in 1/2 cup of buttermilk; mix well.
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Add 2 tablespoons of diluted rennet mixture to the milk. Stir well and cover.
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Let set at room temperature for about 8 – 12 hours.
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Your cheese is ready to drain when it resembles thickened yogurt. You can see how solid the milk is when I tilted the pan.
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Place colander in your sink and line it with cheese cloth. My cheese cloth was a little too small for this recipe so make sure you use a large enough piece. It just makes it easier when you are trying to gather the curds.
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Pour your curds (thickened yogurt-like milk) into the lined colander and allow to drain for a few minutes.
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At our old house, I had a place that I screwed in a cup hook and it allowed my cheese to drain right over my sink. In our new house, I do not have that option so we had to become creative in what we would use. We found this banana holder that also held a bowl (for fruit) underneath. It works perfect because it is sturdy and allows me to put my bowl underneath to catch the whey (the liquid that drains from the cheese).
I tie up my cheesecloth either with a string or just tie it around the banana hook and allow it to drain for about 6 – 8 hours. During the first hour I keep a close eye on it as a lot of whey will drain  and  the bowl will need to be emptied on a regular basis (as you can see in this photo.).
Once their is no more whey draining from the bag, you are ready to take it out of the cheesecloth.
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This is your finished Chevre cheese! It can be seasoned with herbs or spices and even used as a substitute for cream cheese. Chevre will keep in the refrigerator for up to 2 weeks, or it can be frozen, unseasoned where it will keep for about 6 months.
Tomorrow I will be showing you a delicious desert I made using this fabulous cheese!

ETA: You can purchase rennet from Hoegger Goat Supply
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