My favorite cheese is Chevre. It makes me so happy on a pizza with a bunch of spinach from the garden, or crumbled on my salad. For me, it is also the easiest to make. Sure there's 30 minute Mozzarella, and farm-style cheese (Paneer) with just milk and lemon juice. But even those require heating to just the right temperature and, well, standing around in the kitchen making a mess for at least an hour. I do love them, but my favorite cheese to make and to eat is Wasabi Chevre.
Making Chevre fits just right into my daily schedule. Each step is quick and easy, so while it takes a couple days from start to finish, it feels like you're hardly doing anything and like magic, there it is!
Here's my recipe and how I put it together:
1 1/2 gallons fresh raw goat milk
1/4 tsp dry Chevre culture
4 drops vegetable rennet
1/4 cup water
2 tsp salt
2 TBS Wasabi from the squeeze tube
I know, Wasabi?! Yeah, the stuff that comes flaming out your nose when you put the tiniest dab on your California Roll. I don't know why but it is simply not hot when you put it in the cheese; it's just the most lovely flavor. My least spicy friends love it, really. And, as I said, it's my most favorite; and I like all cheese. Okay, leave the Wasabi out if you must.
Alrighty, here's what you do:
IN THE MORNING after milking put 1 1/2 gallons of milk in a stainless steel pot. Put that pot in a slightly wider pot (or the sink) with either warm or cold water, whichever is needed to bring the milk to 80 degrees f. This will only take a couple minutes. At 80 degrees sprinkle the culture on the top of the milk and let it soak in for a couple minutes. Meanwhile drop 4 drops of rennet into 1/4 cup cool water and stir in. Stir the rennet and water into the milk. Stir for at least a minute using an up and down motion. The culture and rennet need to be well mixed with the milk.
Put the lid on the pot and set it out of the way for 8 - 12 hours. How easy is that?
AFTER DINNER is all cleaned up in the evening take the lid off the pot and cut the curds. Cut about one inch curds in each direction vertically and then horizontally. I just use a stainless steel knife, it works fine. Stir the curds gently a few times and let them rest a couple minutes while you get your straining stuff together.
You can see in the photo below the little jars with water set on top of the cheese as weights.