Now that we're getting a little over a half gallon of goat milk per day, I figured it was time to experiment with a little cheese making to use up some of that milk. I figured I'd start with farmers cheese, which is one of the easiest cheeses to make.
I got out the necessary supplies. Goat milk, salt, cheesecloth, a bowl with a colander, and the acid. The recipe called for lemon juice, but I didn't have any. I'd read you can use vinegar in place of lemon juice, so that's what I did. I selected the red wine vinegar because I thought it'd taste better than white vinegar or apple cider vinegar.
The milk goes in a pot on the stove. Stir until it reaches 180*. Well, I got a tad impatient (who, me?!) and turned the heat up a little too high. The milk started to scorch on the bottom of the pan. Oops! I kept going and figured I'd see what happened.
As the milk was heating, I got the colander placed in a bowl and lined it with cheese cloth. (there's no cheesecloth in this picture)
Once the milk hit 180*, I removed it from the heat and added the vinegar.
You can see it starting to curdle right away.
I let it sit for about 30 seconds, then ladled it into the cheesecloth. It had an, um, interesting color from the vinegar.
I gathered up the sides of the cheesecloth so I could hang it to drain. If I had knobs on my cabinet doors, I would have slid a wooden spoon in the knot and hung it that way. We haven't bought knobs for the cabinets yet, so I just tied the cheesecloth around the middle divider. You can let it drain as long as you like. About an hour or two and you'll have a nice soft cheese. The longer it drains, the firmer the cheese.
After it drained, I added salt. You can also add fresh herbs, but my slacker self didn't have any fresh herbs on hand. I tasted the cheese though. YUCK. Apparently scalded milk and red wine vinegar don't make very nice cheese. Darn!! I gave up on the cheese for that day.
Today I came home determined to try again! Armed with lemons for juicing and fresh herbs, I was going to make cheese darn it! I did the same steps above, but used a sauce pot to heat the milk instead of the gargantuan stock pot. This worked much better and heated the milk nice and slowly. After the milk (1 qt) reached 180*, I pulled it off the heat and added the juice of 2 lemons. Right away it curdled. I then poured it into the cheese cloth and hung it from the cabinets.
Then I chopped up some fresh dill and parsley. Once the cheese was drained, I added the herbs and a good bit of salt (to taste).
MUCH BETTER this time!! It's good! It has a definite lemon flavor, but the dill and parsley add a nice fresh herby flavor.
We toasted some small french bread pieces and added cheese on top and had it with dinner tonight.
Delicious! I can't wait to experiment with some other flavor combinations! Oh, and in case you don't have a milk goat out back, this can be made with store bought (not ultra pasturized) milk!
1 quart milk (not ultra pasturized)
juice of 2 lemons
Heat 1 qt of milk slowly to 180*, stirring often. Remove from heat and add lemon juice, let sit for 15 seconds. Slowly pour into cheesecloth lined colander (over a bowl!). Let hang for at least 1 hour or until desired firmness is reached. Add salt and herbs to taste. Enjoy! Keep refrigerated for up to 1 week.