This time of year means one thing that our family looks particularly forward to: fresh goat cheese! My cousin makes it from their own goat farm and it's some of our favorite. Recently, I checked in on Kathy to discuss her family's goat cheese and other homemade goat milk concoctions:
Kathy's cheese she makes most regularly is chevre (a soft goat cheese). Her recipe came from a great resource for cheesemaking recipes and supplies, the New England Cheesemaking Supply Co..
Another cheese she makes is Basic Vinegar Cheese, a recipe from members of the Nebraska Dairy Goat Association. It follows here. Kathy simply seasons it with sea salt, but there are lots of other variations to try:
Basic Vinegar Cheese:
With frequent stirring, heat 1 gallon of goat milk to 185 degrees. Add 1/4 c. vinegar and stir briefly. After 10 minutes, strain through cheesecloth-lined colander. Hang to drain. We cut it in cubes after draining and add sea salt. Again, any herb you like will work. Makes 1 1/2 pounds of cheese. Storage time 2 weeks in fridge. Can be frozen. Melts when heated.
After draining the choices are unlimited with what you can do with it. You can make cream cheese or ricotta. Or instead of hanging it, press it into a compact shape and roll in minced parsley, ground pepper or chopped nuts. For nacho cheese, put 8 oz. of it in a food processor or blender, add shredded jalapenos and garlic and onion. For dill dip use 8 oz. in an blender again, with garlic, 1/2 cucumber (seeded but not peeled), 1 T. dry dill and salt to taste. For cheesecake add 1/2 cup of liqueur to the milk and then make into cheese.
When goat milk is in season, its abundance leads to making more than goat cheese - even goat milk ice cream! Use any basic ice cream recipe, simply substituting goat milk for cow milk. The result is a very rich and creamy ice cream, as goat milk is naturally homoginized and doesn't easily separate the cream from the milk.
Goat's milk yogurt, when Kathy has made it, has resulted in a very runny, drinkable yogurt. She sweetens it with honey and says it's delicious, but it just doesn't seem to set up like cow's milk yogurt when she makes it from scratch.
Do you have any experience with goat milk or using it for making other dairy products? What do you like about this seasonal ingredient over the more common cow's milk? Please let us know below. (Thanks, Kathy!)
Related: DIY Kit: Make Your Own Goat Cheese!
(Images: NC Farm Bureau Magazine, the blog of the New England Cheesemaking Supply Co., goat cheese by Kiss My Spatula, goat's milk ice cream by Feeding the Saints, homemade yogurt via Indiana Public Media)