It’s almost criminal how effortless it is to make goat cheese. This is a very easy way to impress people, but I must confess that I felt a little guilty taking credit for what was essentially a transformational relationship between goat milk, heat and lemon juice that I sort of facilitated.
And guess what? It gets better if you let it rest for a night – that pungent tang that makes goat cheese so great was subtle the first day. It was more like ricotta. But on day two, oh man, it went off.
My friend Kai hosted a pork party – an I Got Porked on the Ides of March party, to be precise – wherein he smoked this 23 pound heritage ham after brining it for two days. We brought these little crostini to the party, where it was again confirmed that everything tastes better with pork.
Coupled with a quick fennel slaw on the crostini, the flavors are pure springtime. The bright, clean notes of the fennel, the light lemony infusion, the lip-smacking creamy kick of the goat cheese are all perfect to usher in the gorgeous weather we’re having in San Francisco. Hooray spring.
Many, many thanks to Kiss My Spatula for inspiring me to make goat cheese!
Homemade Goat Cheese
adapted from Kiss My Spatula
1 quart pasteurized goat milk
1/4 cup freshly squeezed lemon juice
coarse salt, to taste
In a medium saucepan, slowly heat milk until it reaches 180 degrees on a candy thermometer. Remove from heat and stir in lemon juice. Let stand until milk starts to curdle, about 15-20 seconds. If milk does not curdle, add a little more lemon juice.
Line a colander with cheesecloth and place over a large bowl. Ladle milk into colander. Pull up and tie the four corners of cheesecloth together and hang on the handle of a wooden spoon, set over a stockpot or very deep bowl. Allow to drain for about 1.5 hours. Transfer to a bowl and fold in salt. Can be stored in an airtight container, refrigerated, up to 1 week.