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.

Add 5 quarts of goat’s milk to a stock pot and warm to 80 degrees.
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.
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.
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.
Pour your curds (thickened yogurt-like milk) into the lined colander and allow to drain for a few minutes.
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.
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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