One of my very best friends is getting married in about 9 days. For her bridal shower her mom bought her a recipe book that has folders so you can file all the recipes you gather and keep them relatively organized in categories (I have one myself, best thing ever). As guests we were supposed to bring a recipe to contribute. Guess what? I forgot. Really? This is what I do. So this is my make-up.
A little bit about Selena first though. We first met in dance class then went to high school together. We both headed off to Victoria in search of higher education. We ended up living together (where she told me I was fool for not using eye cream, I haven't stopped since). I was a pretty dedicated student and knew what a heavy work load was, I was in the sciences. Mmmm no, Selena was taking a program that would allow her to transfer to UBC to become a civil engineer. I have never seen someone so dedicated in my life, she was a marvel. After she headed off to UBC and so did I. She was in a male dominated field and kicking ass, loved it. Once we graduated we ended up buying condos a five minute walk apart.
By this time she was a full fledged engineer, awesome. She designs over-passes, off ramps and bridges (for real). At the same time coming over for a cook freeze frenzy before my son was born, dropping off Starbucks after he was born while I was still housebound and just pretty much being the best. She also loves to travel. She has managed combine her passions and travel the world for various work related tasks, I would call that living your dream. She is a dedicated blog reader/commenter/encourager and for that I am forever grateful.
I am so excited for her wedding because I know it will be everything she has hoped for.
So onto the recipe: home-made goat cheese. I know you are thinking that sounds crazy, time consuming and requiring some kind of pioneer training...wrong on all fronts. It is actually pretty easy and amazingly delicious. There is some time involved, but it is mostly passive time.
You do need a few things that may not be laying around your house: a thermometer and cheese cloth (found at any grocery store for under $2.00).
1 litre goat milk
1 cup buttermilk
2 tbsp freshly squeezed lemon juice
1/2 tsp sea salt
1. Line a colander with the folded over cheesecloth and set into a large bowl to catch the whey (the liquid portion).
2. Pour goat’s milk and buttermilk into a medium sized saucepan with thermometer attached (if yours doesn't clip on you can just check the temperature every so often).
3. Set heat to medium. Bring the milk to between 170°F-185°F. When the milk begins to bubble slightly and begins to curdle, remove it from the heat. You only have to stir occasionally.
4. Add 2 tbsp of lemon juice and stir, you should see it start to curdle.
5. Bring the heat down to 120°F. Ladle the curds into the cheesecloth lined colander and drain the whey into the bowl.
6. You can save the whey, it's high in protein. I threw it away, goat flavoured smoothies didn't appeal to me.
7. Gather the edges of the cheesecloth and tie with with string or an elastic. Return to colander and place a plate on top of the cheesecloth. Weigh it down with a can or other heavy item.
8. Place in refrigerator for 2 hours to drain.
9. Remove from fridge, scrape into bowl and season with salt and herbs if using.
10. Use immediately or return to fridge and allow the flavours to intensify over the next 1-2 days.
11. Will keep for up to one week in the fridge.
A few notes: I was expecting large curds to form after I added the lemon juice, they are actually quite small, that is OK. The buttermilk adds a creamy texture, but I think it dulled down the goat taste so the cheese ended up having a milder flavour than what you buy in the store. I doubled the recipe when I made it to use the entire 2 liters of goat milk (I was pretty sure I wasn't going to drink it) and ended up with about 1.5 cups of cheese. Next time I am going with 100% goat milk (which you can buy at most grocery stores). You can season what ever herbs you want fresh, dried or add sundried tomatoes, endless ideas. I choose to just lightly salt mine, I wanted to try it straight up. I was thinking that I would be able to feel the texture of the curds, but you can't. It is very smooth and creamy.
I served it on bread with a drizzle of balsamic reduction as an appetizer. It was gone ASAP. How talented would you look brining this to a friends house? Oh it's no big deal, I only made fresh goat cheese. Little do they know...so easy.
Tiffany McFadden, RD