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Monday, March 19, 2012

Who Knew? How To...Homemade Goat Cheese

"On the table, under a wooden bowl to protect it from hungry rats and cats alike, sits a 
perfect goat cheese wrapped in basil leaves. Prim's gift to me on reaping day. 
I put the cheese carefully in my pocket as I slip outside"
 ~Katniss Everdeen, The Hunger Games

My sister is a most amazing source for good reads. Excellent reads.  

Because we are a family of avid readers, we long for those books that will imprint themselves onto our psyche. My sister is very adept at finding these gems and happily passing them along to all of us. The Hunger Games was shared way back when and I have since shared the gift of this book with many. 

In honor of the movie release on Friday, I have made some of Prim's goat cheese. It is smooth, tangy and incredibly good. 

Happy Hunger Games. May the odds be ever in your favor.


Here's the recipe:

Homemade Goat Cheese
(recipe adapted from kiss my spatula)

1 quart goat milk (don't use ultra pasteurized)
1/4 C fresh lemon juice
fresh basil
lemon zest
candy thermometer
cheese cloth
fine mesh colander

Start by lining your colander with about four layers of cheesecloth. Set your colander over a large bowl to catch the whey that will drain of the goat curd you're about to create. 

Next, pour your goat milk into a medium sauce pan. Heat milk over medium-low heat until the candy thermometer reaches 180℉. Remove sauce pan from the heat and pour in your lemon juice. Stir gently to incorporate the juice and then allow mixture to sit for about 30 seconds while the curds begin to form.

Carefully pour your mixture into the lined colander. Pull the four corners of your cheesecloth together and tie around the handle of a spatula or wooden spoon. Hang the bundle over your bowl to catch addition whey (I hung mine through the door handles of my kitchen cupboards). Allow the goat cheese to drip and dry for approximately 1 hour. 

When ready, place your goat cheese in a bowl to add your seasonings - salt, chopped basil and lemon zest (to your taste). Spoon and smooth your seasoned goat cheese into a 4" ramekin, cover and refrigerate. Spread goat cheese onto a nice crusty hunk of french bread and enjoy!

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