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Simple Creamy Goat Cheese

October 6, 2010

Goat cheese, or as the French say it, Chèvre (shev) is a deliciously tangy addition to almost any dish and is perfect eaten simply with crusty bread or fruit.

You can now whip it up in less than an hour (plus some optional wait time) and customize it with herbs and spices for endless variations. This tangy cheese makes a wonderful treat to take to a dinner party but be careful, you’ll start getting requests!

 

Stack of chevre wheels

It's easy to customize your chevre!

 

Simple Creamy Goat Cheese 

Ingredients:

half gallon of goat milk (2 quarts)

1 tsp citric acid (to purchase citric acid or a complete goat cheese kit visit our SHOP.)

1 tsp Cheese salt (to taste)

1 tsp Herbs de Provence (optional)

Supplies:

Large pot- at least 4 quart

Butter Muslin (fine cheesecloth)

Colander

Large Slotted spoon

Cheese Molds


YIELD- About ¾ lb


Step 1- Measure the citric acid into ½ cup of water and stir.

Step 2- Pour your milk into the pot, pour the citric acid solution and salt into the milk and mix thoroughly.

 

Curds and Whey

Curds and Whey

 

Step 3- Heat the milk to 180°F-185°F (do not allow to boil). Stir often to prevent scorching. You will see coagulation (white and yellowish separations), turn off the heat.

Step 4- Allow to set undisturbed and off the heat for 10-15 minutes. Line a colander with your fine cheesecloth and gently pour or scoop your curds into the colander to drain out the whey. Once most of the whey has drained out, sprinkle in your salt and blend in gently.

 

Curds, no Whey

Curds, no Whey

 

Step 5- Mix in your herbs (or you can coat the shaped wheels later instead) and stir minimally.

Step 6- Spoon your curds into the cheese molds. Press just enough to evenly fill the molds. Place the molds on a flat pan so any extra whey can drain. Drain 10-30 minutes or to your desired consistency. If you have more cheese, drain in it the cloth for a “bag cheese.“

 

Chevre Draining in Molds

Chevre Draining in Molds

 

Step 7- Gently but firmly unmold (hold upside down and tap out) your cheeses and enjoy! If the cheese sticks, you can cut small pieces of your cloth and line the molds next time. If you don’t have molds, you can alternately just shape the cheese into a log with the help of wax paper. Cover and store in the refrigerator up to a week.

Paneer

October 6, 2010

Paneer, a mild, no-fail cheese is great for beginners and fun to make with kids but it’s so delicious and versatile that advanced cheese makers and cooks around the world love it.

 

One gallon makes a lot of Paneer!

 

It is unique because though it softens, it doesn’t really melt. Paneer actually absorbs seasonings and sauces that surround it. This makes it a perfect tasty additions to curries, pasta dishes, saucy enchiladas, kabobs and any recipe that calls for tofu or chicken. With this simple recipe you can make it in less than an hour!

Paneer

Ingredients:

1 gallon milk

2 tsp citric acid or 8 tbsp lemon juice- no acid or water
(to purchase citric acid or a complete Paneer and Queso Blanco Kit visit our SHOP.)

2 tsp Cheese salt (to taste)


Supplies:

Large pot- at least 6 quart

Butter Muslin (fine cheesecloth)

Colander

Large Slotted spoon


YIELD- 1 ¾ to 2lbs.


Step 1- Measure the citric acid into 1 cup of cool water and stir. Let it sit and dissolve.

Step 2- Heat the milk in your pot stirring often to prevent scorching at the bottom. Heat until you see foam and steam (190˚F). Do not allow to boil.

Step 3- Turn the heat to low, before the foam subsides, drizzle in the citric acid solution in and watch the magic! Cook for 1 minute, stirring gently.

Step 4- Remove from the heat and continue to stir gently. The curds are white and the whey should be yellowish green. If the whey is whitish, sprinkle a pinch more citric acid in the pot.

Step 5- Once you get a clear separation of curds and whey, let the pot sit undisturbed for 10 minutes.

Step 6- Pour the curds into a colander lined with cheesecloth. Gently twist the top of the cloth to squeeze out extra whey. This is the time to add salt or optional herbs for savory dishes.

 

salting curds

salting the curds

 

Step 7- Rest the bundle in the colander, cover the curds with the cloths corners and place a plate and a weight (such as a gallon of water) on top and press for ½ hour-1 hour.

Step 8- Unwrap the cheese and refrigerate in a covered container for maximum firmness. You can cut it, cook with it, eat it as is and store it in the refrigerator for up to 1 week. Try browning a small piece in a little olive oil, salt and pepper…yum!

Oh! You can also make sweet cheese desserts using Paneer (check out the Ras Malai videos on our home page ‘World Cheese Tour’ or go to YouTube and search for Ras Malai)

Class season begins!

September 13, 2010

With fall come cheese classes for me! The first of these is through Alberta Cooperative. It’s a free demo, potluck and intro to goat keeping! Pretty awesome.

Easiest cheese (like paneer and queso blanco)
Redeemer Lutheran Church
5431 NE 20th Ave
Portland, OR
Tuesday, September 14. 2010- 6:30pm

FULL DETAILS HERE

I will also teach one for Elderhostel on 9/21/2010 but it is all sold out. Sorry :).

The series with Oregon Growth Bounty Continues. Just a few spots are left!

Finally, a new series through Mount Hood Community College (the first of my classes where you will actually get to make your own batch of cheese with a partner, in your own kitchenette- home economics style!)

An Urban Cheesemaker’s Garden (AKA, the housing market and all of my hobbies)

August 8, 2010

So it seems like forever that Jeff and I have been wanting to buy a home but it never seems to be the right time.

First, the market was insane and even though the banks would’ve approved us for a gigantic loan, we could not have afforded payments and would probably be in the trouble lots of people are now…

3 years later, the home prices came down a bit but we didn’t see homes we could afford where we wanted to live in Portland and I still had lots of student loan debt. We decided to wait just a little longer, pay off my loans and see what the market continued to do.

1.5 years after that we’d paid off my loans just in time for the $8,000 tax credit so we jumped into a search. It was madness, everyone seemed to be thinking the same thing and I don’t like the feeling of scrambling and competing for something, I find it undignified (traffic, lines at the grocery store etc.). The houses were overpriced and they were flying off the market before we could even give them a thought. Jeff and I saw over 40 houses in two months. We’d find one, someone else was quicker to buy. Ick. The tax credit ended, we waited to see the prices adjust as well as new inventory.

Fast forward almost another 6 months, prices have adjusted and the majority of homes in our price range are short sales and foreclosures. We’re so ready, we want a little dog, a couple of chickens and the point of this unnecessarily long story…A GARDEN!! So, we’re back in the hunt, prices are good and so are interest rates, we’re seeing homes in neighborhoods we want,  we’re debt free, there’s no scramble and crazy competition but now it’s about the right home for the right price.

basil and thyme

first tomato!

first tomato!

Who knows how much longer it will be. Now I know though, that I can live the way I want, wherever I am. I don’t need to live in the country or have a ton of land to do the things I enjoy and I’m really glad I learned that.

With the help of my surprising patience I have created quite a little farm life in our apartment and stoop (NO yard whatsoever). As you know I make cheese and run a cheese supplies business. I also bake pies, ferment pickles and sauerkraut, make jam, kombucha and apple cider (some of these things more often than others) and I even compost with the help of a small worm bin.

We’re members of a local farm so we get great produce for 26 weeks out of the year. I also get to visit goats and have fresh milk just 8 minutes from my apt. This all adds to my quality of life but I still wanted to see plants grow! So, for the last two years I have planted a tiny garden in a retired curbside recycling bin. It contains two tomato plants, one cherry and one small tomato, as well as chives, dill and in separate pots, thyme and basil- as you can probably tell, these crops main purpose is to accompany the cheese I make. It’s been a good solution and has added more country flair to my apartment reality.

I encourage you to live the way you want to live now, even if it’s in a small way. Hang tomatoes from a hook, grow herbs in your window sill, use containers in a balcony- you will enjoy the fruits of your limited labor (quite literally speaking) and will hopefully enjoy living in the now instead of thinking your real life begins when you have land.  We only have THIS moment right?

Check out the pictures of my farm food projects below. I would love to hear about how you creatively live a country life in an urban setting!

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Food Lover’s Guide to Portland Includes Urban Cheesecraft!

June 27, 2010

Urban Cheesecraft has been very lucky to be welcomed into Portland’s amazing food crafting and food loving community from the start.

I was thrilled to be contacted by Liz Crain a while back, author of the soon to be released Food Lover’s Guide to Portland. She included our kits amongst her findings! If you’re local, she’ll help you discover delicious adventures, if you’re not local, it’s an awesome guide to our city.

Share your cheese stories with other food crafters, support Liz’s book and our business and attend a unique launch party! What a treat!

Food Lover’s Guide to Portland- Book Launch Party
Fortune Tattoo, 1716 East Burnside St., Portland, OR
Thursday, July 1st — 6-9pm
Food. Drink. Music. Books.

ps. This article on UCC was recently printed in Lake Tahoe’s Moonshine Ink.

OMG, we’re on TV!

February 3, 2010

channel 8 news piece

Hee hee, check out a clip of channel 8′s little piece on our first Urban Growth Bounty Class in Beaumont.

Twenty of us had fun in our home ec/art room. We made 4 varieties of paneer and queso blanco including some herbed wheels shaped in molds and a delicious pan-fried variety that we sprinkled curry powder onto. Sooo good.

Hope to see you in a class soon!

Lots of classes in 2010

December 19, 2009

You will make this and more!

Classes at Urban Farm Store and the City of Portland’s Urban Growth Bounty Program

Learn to make fresh, easy mozzarella at the Urban Farm Store- $40 per person, in-class samples & recipe/instructions included. Thursday, February 18, 2010- 6-7:30pm

Please RSVP with your phone number at UrbanFarmStore@gmail.com. You will receive a call for payment.

______________________________________________

I just signed on to teach a series of cheese making classes through the Urban Growth Bounty 2010 program presented by the City of Portland Bureau of Planning and Sustainability. Check out a little clip of our first class in local news!

They also offer neat classes in beekeeping, preserving produce, organic gardening and more.

Check out the schedule on my Classes page but register easily ONLINE. I hear the class on paneer sold out every time last year so don’t dilly dally, seats are limited. Hope to see you there!

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