Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Making Chevre, Freezing It and Using it in Recipes

Spring means goat's milk!

And goat's milk means chevre.  Lots of it!  As you know, sometimes you just can't eat it all.  In fact, you make so much that you have to freeze some of it.  Not to worry!  It will change texture slightly but it will still be great in recipes like the ones below.

When you freeze your cheese, wrap it carefully in waxed paper or plastic wrap and put it in a freezer bag.  Plan to use it within a few months.  When you are ready to use it, leave it in the fridge for one or two days to thaw gradually.

Simple enough?  Of course, you have to make the cheese first, so here's Jessica Durff's description of a basic chevre recipe (I think her photography is amazing!).  Then, after you've made it, you're ready for the following 4 recipes, originally presented by chefs at their fabulous websites (they were kind enough to share them with us).  All of these chefs have many more recipes at their sites, so check them out!

Fresh Chevre
By Jessica Durff

2 quarts pasteurized goat milk
1/2 packet of chevre culture meant for 1 gallon of milk
Lots and lots of cheesecloth

Heat the goat milk in a stainless steel pot to 86F and whisk in the chevre culture. Remove from heat and let sit at room temperature for 12 – 24 hours. I let mine sit for about 20 because I kept waiting for the curds to form. It turns out that hard curds will not form, but you will notice a much thicker, creamier texture to the milk.

When you see that thickness, drain the milk in a colander lined with lots of cheesecloth set over a bowl. Rather than pouring the milk through the colander straight from the pan, use a ladle to gently pour it in. You may only be able to fit half the milk in at a time. That’s fine. You’ll hang the first batch before laying out more cheesecloth to drain the second.

After the milk has drained slightly and you see some whey collected in the bowl, gather the cheesecloth together and secure with twine (as shown in the picture above). Use the twine to hang the cheese where it can continue to drain for 10 hours.

Do not try to rush the draining process, it takes time. Repeat until all the milk has been drained and is hanging. After 10 hours has passed, open up your cheesecloth packets to find creamy, tart, fresh (!) goat cheese. Salt and season to taste or use as is.


Goat Cheese Macaroni
By Rachelle (Shelley) Teller


1/2 lb. elbow macaroni
1/4 cup butter
1/4 cup flour
3 cups milk, heated
1 cup sun-dried tomatoes
8 oz. goat cheese
1/4 cup roasted garlic
1 tsp. chopped thyme
1 tsp. chopped oregano
1 cup Mascarpone cheese
1 cup heavy cream
2 cups fresh breadcrumbs
1 clove garlic
1/2 cup fresh, grated Parmesan cheese
1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
1 tsp. chopped parsley


Preheat oven to 325F. Cook macaroni in salted boiling water until just tender, drain. Run under cold water, then drain very well and set aside. In a heavy saucepan, melt butter, then add flour stirring to combine. Cook 2 to 3 minutes on moderate heat. Add milk, slowly stirring. Simmer 10 to 20 minutes until flour taste has gone. Strain sauce into bowl and cool. Soak tomatoes in hot water until soft, slice into 1/4-inch strips. In a large mixing bowl, place macaroni and half of white sauce. Crumple goat cheese over top. Add tomatoes, garlic, thyme and oregano. Work together gently by hand. Add Mascarpone and heavy cream. Season with black pepper and salt. The mix should be soft but not sloppy, if it is too dry add more white sauce. Put in 10 inch baking dish. In food processor, grind bread and garlic together, then add olive oil and parsley, and pulse in processor just to mix and sprinkle on top of macaroni. Bake 20 to 25 minutes.

Additional Tips
Ready in 1 hour, 15 min prep

Potato-Goat Cheese Gratin
By Joe Schreiber


1 tablespoon olive oil
1 1/4 cups thinly sliced leeks
1 1/2 cups milk
1 tablespoon all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
1/8 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1 large garlic clove, minced
2 1/4 lbs Yukon gold potatoes, cut into 1/8" thick slices
4 ounces (about 1 cup) crumbled goat cheese
1/3 cup panko breadcrumbs
1 ounce (about 1/4 cup) fresh grated Parmesan cheese


In a medium skillet, heat oil over medium-low. Stir in leeks and cook, stirring occassionally, until tender and beginning to brown, about 18 to 20 minutes. Remove and set aside.

Meanwhile, preheat oven to 400F.

In a medium bowl, whisk 2 tablespoons of the milk into the flour. Pour in remaining milk - whisk in salt, pepper, nutmeg and garlic until combined.

Arrange of the potato slices in a 2 quart baking dish coated with cooking spray. Scatter the top with the cooked leeks and crumbled goat cheese. Pour half of the milk mixture over the top. Arrange remaining potatoes over the top - pour remaining milk mixture all over. Cover pan with foil and place into the oven to bake for 45 minutes. Remove foil and continue to bake until the potatoes are tender, about 25 minutes.

Meanwhile, stir together panko and Parmesan cheese in a small bowl. Scatter onto the tender potatoes and continue to bake, uncovered, until the topping has browned, about 15 minutes. Remove from the oven and let sit for 10 minutes before serving.

Makes about 4 to 8 servings, depending if served as a main dish or side.

Spinach Goat Cheese Lasagna
by Deborah Mele

Serves 6

3 (14 oz) cans chopped Italian tomatoes
3 cloves garlic minced
2 tablespoons olive oil
5 tablespoons chopped fresh basil
pinch of red pepper flakes
salt & pepper

Pasta Dough:

3 cups unbleached flour
4 large eggs
pinch of salt

Other Ingredients:

1 (16 oz) bag fresh spinach
1 (6 oz) log goat cheese
1 1/2 cups grated Mozzarella
1 cup grated Parmesan cheese


To make the pasta, mound your flour on a large pastry board, or the counter with the salt, and make a well in the center. Break the eggs into this well, and start to scramble each egg with a fork as it is being added. Start to incorporate the eggs and flour by slowly bringing more flour in from the inside edges of the well. Continue adding the flour to the eggs until they are no longer runny. Using your hands now, bring the outside edges in, forming a large mass on your board. Use only the amount of flour needed to form a soft ball.

Begin to knead the ball of dough as you would bread, pushing it down with the heel of your hand. Continue kneading until the dough is smooth and satiny, for about 5 to 7 minutes. Wrap the prepared dough in plastic wrap, and let it sit for about 30 minutes.

Use a pasta roller or roll by hand to make long sheets of pasta 1/4 thick. I use my Kitchen Aide table mixer with the pasta attachment and roll my pasta to the third last position or to number 6 on the dial. After rolling, cut into 12 inch long strips. Precook in boiling water for 30 seconds, then place in ice water. Dry and set aside on clean kitchen towels.

To make the sauce, cook the garlic in the oil until it is tender. Finally add the tomatoes, basil and seasonings. Bring everything to a boil and then reduce heat to a simmer. Cook for about 10 minutes until thickened.

Cook the spinach by either steaming it or by using the microwave. Allow to cool and squeeze to remove as much of the liquid as possible. Coarsely chop.

To assemble the lasagne, add about 1/2 cup of sauce to the bottom of a large lasagne pan. Add a little water and mix. Make an overlapping layer of the noodles across the bottom of the pan. Spread a large spoonful of sauce on top, making sure the noodles are well covered. Take about a quarter of the spinach and layer on top of the sauce. Sprinkle some of the mozzarella on top. Add the next layer of noodles, then sauce, then break up some goat cheese on top. Sprinkle with some of the parmesan cheese. Continue layering in this fashion, alternating spinach and goat cheese layers. Spoon enough sauce to cover the top, and then sprinkle on the last of the parmesan and mozzarella cheese. Drop small dollops of the goat cheese to finish. Cover the dish with foil and refrigerate until ready to bake.

Preheat oven  to 350F. If the lasagna was refrigerated, allow it to come to room temperature before baking. Bake for about 30 minutes. Remove the foil topping and bake an additional 15 minutes or until the top is lightly browned and the lasagna is bubbling. Let rest 10 minutes before cutting.

No-Bake Lemon Vanilla Goat Cheese Cheesecake
By Nathan Lyon

Have on Hand:

one 8-ounce bag Mi-Del brand gingersnaps (I use my blender to blend them, or crush the gingersnaps in a heavy zip bag) 2 cups
4 tablespoons butter, unsalted
3 tablespoons dark brown sugar, divided
1.5 cups chilled heavy whipping cream
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1 tablespoon honey
11 ounces goats cheese (chevre), room temperature
zest of 1 lemon, wash the lemon first, 1 teaspoon

1 nine-inch spring-form pan, sprayed lightly with non-stick spray
honey, garnish
mint, garnish


For the crust, in a small bowl mix to combine the gingersnap crumbs with 1 tablespoon brown sugar, plus the melted butter. Dump that right on in the prepared spring-form pan, then, using the inverted plastic cap of the non-stick spray can, evenly press the crust into the bottom of the sprayed 9-inch spring form pan, then pop it into the freezer which will help the crust set while you make the filling.

Using the whisk attachment of an immersion blender, hand mixer, or stand-mixer, whisk together the remaining sugar, vanilla extract, plus the cream, until a very thick whipped cream is made. Thicker than normal. Add the room temperature chevre, the honey, plus the lemon zest and continue to whisk until incorporated. Scoop the lemon-vanilla goat cheese deliciousness into the prepared spring-form pan. Spread it evenly, then smooth the top off.

Wrap with plastic wrap and back in the fridge it goes. Chill for 7 to 9 hours, or, heck, over-night wouldn’t hurt either. When serving, I like to have a pitcher of hot water and a towel at the ready. Un-mold the cheesecake, then soak the knife in the hot water for 30 seconds. Wipe dry then slice into the cake. Return the knife to the water, wipe dry, and cut. You get the picture. Nice even slices. Serve with a drizzle of honey, plus some picked mint would be nice too, don’t you think? Heck yeah! Enjoy.

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