Category Archives: Extras

Chevre (Goat’s Milk Cheese)

This was so easy! And fun! Actual work took MAYBE 15 mins. and I got around a lb. of fresh raw milk chevre and about 3 qts. of whey that I will use for soaking whole grains.

It was especially awesome because I snagged this goats milk for free several months ago (long story) and it was just hanging out in my deep freezer taunting me to be made into chevre. Have you ever had goats milk cheese? It’s really good! It goes well in salads, or spread on crackers, or in gourmet sandwiches. It’s really a special treat. I happened to have raw goats milk but you can absolutely use regular goats milk from a natural foods store. Just make sure it’s fresh and not ultra-pasteurized. Trickling Springs Creamery is a good local choice that is pretty readily available.

You will need to get a special chevre culture for doing it this way, which I think is the easiest by far. I got mine at Cultures for Health for around $6 and it makes several batches.  I think I might try making feta next.

So you need the culture starter and a gallon of goats milk, a thermometer, wooden spoon, and a thick bottomed stainless steel pot. That’s it!

Before you begin, make sure everything that you use is sterilized so you don’t cross contaminate any other random bacteria as you culture your cheese.

The directions say, which I followed, to heat up the milk to 86 degrees then add the culture which conveniently comes in little pouches that you just tear open. After you heat up the milk on medium, stirring frequently  just add the starter to the milk, cover it and let it sit for about 12 hrs. I let mine culture overnight.

12 hours later, or when your cheese has set (you’ll know) you strain it out onto cheese cloth and let it hang for several hours depending on how dry you want it to be.  Below is a pic just after hanging for about 4 hours.

After all the whey soaks out, you can do a couple things with it. You can eat it right away, form it into small balls and let sit in olive oil, or wrap it in wax paper like I did.

This recipe is shared over at Fresh Bites Friday for the blog carnival-lots of great recipes there! Also seen at Kitchen Tip Tuesday 5/9

*I will get paid a small commission if you purchase anything at Cultures for Health through on of my links but that is just a bonus as I already love their products*


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30 Min. Mozzarella

30 Minuit Mozzarella is fun! With a small amount of work you get pretty instant gratification. If you’ve never made cheese before, this is where you need to start.  I got the Ricky’s 30 Min. Mozzarella and Ricotta kit and it was so worth it. Even if you just make it a few times. This was my second time making it, both times with my Mom and it turned out great both times. We followed the directions exactly and the process looked a little different then what’s in her directions but was consistent with the both times that we made it. And it turned out great. Also note that the directions are different on her site then what’s below.  That’s cause we followed the directions that came with the box. Not really sure why it’s different.

We used a gallon of raw milk which I really think adds to the flavor of the cheese because well, raw milk tastes better. You only neat it up to 135 degrees so you are still keeping most of the good bacteria in the cheese making it good for you too!

Ricky stresses using local milk pasteurized or not because it seems to make a better curd. So if you can try to get your hands on a gallon of local milk. If not then I’m sure that regular milk from the grocery store will work fine, so long as it’s not ultra-pasteurized.  According to Ricky, it just won’t work. Probably because it’s just dead white stuff with nothing really even left in it.  Just speculating here though.

So here’s what you need:

A gallon of WHOLE milk ( really people, go big or go home with this one)

Un-Chlorinated water

A thermometer

Cheese Making Kit

Large good quality stock pot

A wooden spoon and a long knife

A microwave ( I put this here because I don’t assume everyone has one. I did it for a whole year by choice once)

Note the bottled water. She says that you only have to use un-chlorinated water but my filter box said that it only reduces it. I wasn’t gonna take any chances so my Mom ran out to the Wawa and picked up a gallon. You only need a few cups though. If you don’t want to get the kit then you just need citric acid, rennet in tablet form, and cheese salt.

So you start just like she says. Take the 1/4 of a rennet tablet and dissolve in 1/4 cup of cool water and set aside. Next go ahead and mix 1 1/2 tsp. citric acid in 1 cup cool water and set that aside as well. Next you pour the milk into the stock pot and stir vigorously with with dissolved rennet.

Keep stirring pretty quickly until the milk reaches 90 degrees exactly and remove it from the heat. Now is when you take your handy pre-measured and dissolved citric acid. Stir it in an upwards motion for about 30 seconds. Kind of like you beating an egg.  Now is when it needs to set. The milk will separate into large curd and visibly separate from what is now the whey.  (make sure to save it because you can turn it into ricotta cheese easily later) So your gonna want to just let it sit with a lid on it.  What you’re looking for is a good solid separation. You’ll know what it is when you see it. The directions said it would take 3-5 minutes but it took us closer to 10.  It will look like this:

Once you get a good curd formed you want to cut it. Get a knife that large enough to touch the bottom of the pot. I used a cake decorating knife. Now just literally cut the curds in a both directions. Meaning cut them all horizontally and then vertically. About an inch apart. This is the tricky part. For us it kind of swirled around the pot.

Once you have it cut completely then put it back on the burner and slowly heat up to 105 degrees exactly. But while you’re doing it you want to stir it with your wooden spoon SLOWLY. It only takes about 2-5 mins. The more you stir it the harder the cheese will be.  The curd or almost cheese at this point all clumped up together. It was ok. Actually made it pretty easy to get out.

I just kind of scooped it all out into a bowl before I stuck it in the microwave. But first I drained off as much excess whey as I could without dropping the whole thing back into the pot.  It’s only because I have skills though. (actually it was pretty easy)

Yea, so do that. Put it in a microwave safe bowl (duh! no metal) for 1 minute. Once you take it out your gonna want to go ahead and add 1 tsp. cheese salt and mix into the cheese completely. It’s going to be hot so work fast. Be sure that you separate off the extra whey at this point too.

Now stick it back in the microwave for about 30 seconds before working it. (stretching) The directions say it needs to be 135 degrees before it will stretch properly but it just needs to be hot. This process goes really fast so make sure your ready. Stretch it out several times until it gets smooth and shiny. Now you can form it into balls or like I did just kind of lay it down in a narrow fashion.

Done! You can now give yourself a pat on the back!

You can either eat it now (we did) or wait until it cools and give it a try. SO good! My camera died before I could take a final picture but I will take one once the battery charges and put it up.  How cool is that? Not so hard huh?


Butter

Ok, I know what your thinking. I’ve gone to far right? I’ve fallen off the deep end and bumped my head.  Why would one make butter when you can simply go to the grocery store and BUY it? Well, why bother making food when you can buy it either? But no, I wanted to try making butter because I thought it would be cool to be able to say that I did it. Actually the main reason was because I ordered some raw cream and once I got it I found that it was way to thick to put in my coffee which is what I ordered it for. I didn’t have any upcoming recipe’s that called for heavy cream and I had stumbled on a recipe on making butter. Looked easy enough so I tried it. Guess how long it took? It only took 30 min. from start to finish. It was a proud proud day in my kitchen that fine fall day because I churned that cream into butter. Actually it was pretty easy.

All you need is:

Some heavy cream ( I started with a pint)

A food processor

A cold dish for working it (I’ll explain later)

Some ice water and a fork

Salt if you want

Ok, first start by taking a small dish and sticking it in the freezer. You will use this later to clarify your butter and give it a longer shelf life.

Now take your clean food processor and pour the cream in but let it sit out of the fridge for about 20 min. first so that it separates correctly.  Turn it on. Watch the cream as it goes through the different stages from whipped cream, to harder whipped cream and eventually to butter. It will be going right along spinning around in there then suddenly the consistency will change into butter and you will see it separate into yellow butter and whitish buttermilk.  This will take around 5-7 min.  Pretty cool huh?

Ok, now comes the part where you actually do something. Open the lid of the processor and pour out the buttermilk. This isn’t regular cultured buttermilk like at the store but you can still use it for cooking or drinking. It just tastes like low-fat milk.

Next take your ice water and pour some of ice water it into the butter. Not too much. About 4 tbls. to start. Turn the food processor back on for about a minute, open it up and while using your fork or spoon or what have you separate the yellowish liquid from the solid butter.  Repeat. Like 10 times or as many as it takes to get the liquid to look mostly clear. The more you do it that longer the shelf life it will have and the more like actual butter it will be. This process is called cleaning the butter. Don’t ask me why.

Ok, almost done. Remember that cold dish I told you to stick in the freezer? Take it out. Now empty out the butter in it and take your fork and maybe even a pastry cutter or another fork would work too and press it around a bunch until you get most of the water out. This is when you would add in the optional salt. When your satisfied with the results you can either mold it in some wax paper or stick it in a ramikin like I did.

And, wallah! You made butter! Pretty cool huh?

One pint of heavy cream made that much butter. This post is linked up on Lark’s Country Heart: Made it on Monday #7 and This Weeks Cravings


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