You Milk The Goat, I Make The Cheese

I came to making my own cheeses by a rather indirect path. Almost 4 years ago, on some cooking show, I watched as labneh was made by straining plain yogurt using coffee filters. I tried it, liked the result and then, following their lead, seasoned it with some herbs. I was so pleased with the end-result that I served it that Thanksgiving and it was well-received. Shortly thereafter, on another sleepless night, I was searching the web looking for more things to do with labneh when I stumbled upon one of the many cheese making websites. Soon I was jumping from site to site, surprised to learn how relatively simple cheese is to create depending, of course, upon the type you’re making — and I’ve been making a few select cheeses ever since.

With the right equipment, supplies, and environment, you can make almost any cheese. Living in the city, however, I cannot get many of the dairy products needed to make some cheeses. Neither do I have, nor am I going to build, a temperature-controlled room to age the hard cheeses that require it. So, right off the bat, I’ve eliminated most types of cheese — and that’s just fine. I’m very satisfied making just goat cheese, cream cheese, ricotta, mascarpone, and mozzarella. Besides, no matter how good the home-made parmesan, I don’t use nearly enough to make it worth my while to make some. (The Bartolini kitchens prefer Pecorino Romano, anyway, but try to find lactating sheep in Chicago.)

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Goat Cheese Prepared with Herbes des Provence

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Recently, when I decided to share my cheese making experiences, I mapped out a game plan starting with the easiest cheese to make. In my opinion, ricotta is that cheese, especially since my recipe is non-traditional, meaning not made from the whey created when mozzarella is made.  (Having made ricotta both ways, I’ll stick with the recipe I posted for reasons of both taste and ease of preparation.) Somewhere along the way I had planned to talk about making butter at home but Celi did such a good job with it that I’ll just send you to her kitchen’s garden for a look-see. So, having already shared the ricotta recipe and with the butter instructions out-of-the-way, that brings us to the next cheese in the schedule: goat cheese.

To make goat cheese, you begin by adding a little rennet to a combination of goat’s milk and cultured buttermilk. That mixture is gently warmed and then set aside to allow the formation of curds. Once formed, the curds are separated from the whey and the resulting goat cheese is ready for use in your favorite recipe, or, once salted and possibly herbed, can be used as a tasty spread. It really is that easy, as you’ll soon see.

Before attempting to make this cheese or any within my recipe collection, please refer to my Cheesy Stuff page. Chock full of cheesy details, it provides information about ingredients, cleaning/sterilizing equipment, spices & seasonings, a few tips, and sources for supplies and information.

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Home-Made Goat Cheese Recipe

yield: about 20 oz. of cheese

Ingredients

  • 1/2 gallon goat’s milk (never ultra-pasteurized)
  • 1 pint (2 cups) cultured buttermilk (no substitutions)
  • 1/2 tablet rennet, dissolved in 1/4 cup distilled water
  • salt (optional, though strongly recommended)
  • herbs (optional)
  • olive oil (optional)

Directions

  1. Place the goat’s milk, buttermilk, and rennet into a large, non-reactive pot. Over med-low heat, slowly raise the mixture’s temperature to 180˚, stirring occasionally to prevent its scorching on the pot’s bottom.
  2. Once it has reached 180˚, remove the mixture from the heat, pour it into a large glass bowl, cover it, and set it aside, undisturbed, for about 12 hours. If the curds have not yet formed, leave it undisturbed until they do. It could take as long as another 12 hours (although it has never taken that long for me).
  3. Take some sterilized cheesecloth or a handkerchief and use it to cover the inside of a strainer. Slowly pour the mixture into the cloth-lined strainer. Once most, if not all the liquid (whey) has passed through the strainer, gather the corners of the cloth and tie them together, forming a sack, of sorts, with the curds inside. Hang this sack over a bowl and refrigerate at least overnight.
  4. Remove the goat cheese from the cloth and season with salt, to taste, and whatever herbs and olive oil you prefer.

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Goat Cheese Stuffed Shells

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Variations

You can do many things with goat cheese and much depends upon how well it is drained. If you intend to use it as a spread, do not drain it fully and leave it a little on the moist side or, if you like, add a little olive oil. Season it with your favorite herbs and spices and you’ll have a delicious spread for crostini and crudités, or you may crumble it and use it in salads. Drain it more thoroughly and although you can still season it and use it as was already mentioned, you’ll find that you can, also, use it as you would ricotta in lasagna, cheesecake, or stuffed shells, or on top of pizza or bruschette.

Notes

There are any number of places where you can purchase molds used to press various cheeses into recognizable shapes. If I were to make more kinds of cheese, I would probably buy a few of them. Since I really don’t make enough cheese to warrant purchasing molds, I made do. Using a large can that had been used for pineapple rings, I removed the can’s top & bottom, saving one of the lids, and filled it with goat cheese. I placed a cooling rack on top of a baking sheet and covered it with a piece of waxed paper in which I’d punctured some holes in an area a little larger than the size of the can. I placed the cheese-filled can over the holes, replaced the lid, and placed a heavy can on top of the lid, thus applying pressure to force more whey out of the cheese. Everything was refrigerated overnight and the cheese was used later that day to make the stuffed shells pictured above.

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Coming Soon

In the weeks ahead, look for my posts detailing the making of cream cheese, mascarpone, and mozzarella. Speaking of mozzarella, please let me know if you are aware of a nearby water buffalo herd.

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Inspired by Fankhauser’s How to Make Farmer’s Cheese web page.

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Here’s Flat Ruthie Now …

Flat Ruthie visited Chicago and stayed long enough to take part in my 2 day birthday celebration. Click on Day One to join us as we get the party started and to learn the story behind the picture below. The celebration continues on Day Two with a mini-tour of Chi-town and concludes that evening with my birthday dinner.

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96 thoughts on “You Milk The Goat, I Make The Cheese

  1. Love it! Everytime I pop over to see you I’m inspired and I leanr something new. I even consider new things.
    Mind you the last time I saw a heard of lactating water buffalo was a couple of years back in S India. But then I didn’t actually stop and ask if they were lactating, they looked rather large and grumpy at the time 🙂

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    • Thank you, Claire. And, yes, I’d be hesitant to ask if a particular water buffalo is lactating. Even if I had the courage to do so, what would I do with that info? I certainly am not about to grab a pail and get to it. Which begs the question: do you find the lactating buffalo or the milk maid/man first? It’s too early for such heavy thoughts. I need more coffee! 🙂

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    • Oh, you can do the cheeses I’m going to highlight. They rally aren’t hard to make at all and do not require any special equipment like so many others do. If nothing else, and if you like ricotta, do try the recipe I posted. It really is that good. Perry the Platypus, eh? Yes, bring him out for a meet & greet.

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    • Thanks, Roger. I’m not really making any of the “real” cheeses, those that require lengthy curing periods or special inoculations with mold, etc. I have neither the resources nor inclination to do so. I make these cheeses as I need them and often have enough to share with some member(s) of my tasting team. Of course, I once said I would never can/preserve anything, too. 🙂

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  2. You joke about the Water Buffalo, but there are more in the US than you’d think…there was an article in Hobby Farms magazine last year!
    Goat milk is difficult to come-by around here…I keep saying I want my own dairy goats, but they’d make travel nearly impossible. It’s hard enough to get someone to watch Sweet Cleo. But, if I ever do, I’ll come back to you for help!

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    • I wish I could find a place that either sells buffalo milk or their mozzarella. I became addicted to the stuff when in Italy. It is soo good! Up the main road from Zia’s is a family-owned dairy farm. I keep telling Zia if a cow wanders onto our property, to lead it into the garage and I’ll be right there, rennet in hand. There are some sheep in the opposite direction on that same road but I think that The Fates would frown upon that and think us too greedy.

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        • It’s probably a good thing that there isn’t a shop like that here. I’d quickly be known as “that guy” because I’d return there every 3 or 4 days buying cheese and would then be seen eating it in the car as I drive away. Not a pretty picture at all.

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  3. What a brilliant post – I´ve been shown by a local how to make cheese using rennet but so far uahven´t done it. You have inspired me and as soon as I can shake off my cold, am off to get some and will get Big Man to talk to Miguel the Goatherd about geting me somne fresh milk! Am looking forward to seeing how to make mozzarella and will keep an eye out for the water buffalo!

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    • If I can make these, Tanya, you certainly can. Start with the easy cheese so that you get used to straining and handling curds. Check out my ricotta recipe. It couldn’t be easier and you’ll love the results. This goat cheese is next, followed by cream cheese. Handling the curds in both of these is a bit more complicated but nothing you cannot handle. Mascarpone is pretty much the same. Mozzarella is a bit harder. There are 2 kinds and we’ll start with the easiest of the two. Still, none of this is beyond your grasp. And there’s real satisfaction having a piece of homemade bread with a bit of homemade cream cheese and a spoon of your canned jam. Life is good!

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  4. Great instructions and those Goat Cheese Stuffed Shells look delicious!
    There is actually a herd of water buffalo in the West of England (not much good to you), but their cheese and milk turns up at my farmers’ market every three weeks or so. The mozzarella is so good that an award winning London pizza place uses it. It’s a real Italian running the show with an imported Italian wood burning oven – great pizza 😉

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    • Oh, baby! Buffalo mozzarella is nothing like the stuff they sell here. I think if more Americans had the chance to taste the “real thing,” there would be herds of water buffalo everywhere over here. Still, I’ll make it with cow’s milk and am very happy with the results. It is still better than the stuff with all of the preservatives and additives. Thanks for stopping by!

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  5. Oh No, Now I have to get a goat? I love labneh and ricotta is easy, and i adore goat cheese but still working on our john though, as he is not into goats at all.. and my barn is wild enough, without introducing the real fence jumpers! What a great idea to do a series on cheese! I will do the parmesan in the spring when we start milking! And thank you for the link! Have a fine chicago day! Now as to the sheep. I am fairly sure that Moaning Mia would be more than happy to live on your little terrace! c

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    • I knew you made your own parmesan and am anxious to see how you do it. And, yeah, bring Moaning Mia with your when you make deliveries. Between her bleats, Max’s barking at a “strange” leaf, and Lucy’s cackles & whistles whenever I dare go out into the yard, my neighbors will get little rest. It’s a good thing I shovel the snow for all of them — 7 houses in all, sometimes more. My snowblower is buying their silence. Snowblowers make good neighbors! Enjoy your day, too, Celi!

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    • I can get ultra-pasteurized at just about any of the large groceries — Dominick’s, Jewel, and the like. The trick is to try and find plain, pasteurized milk. For that, I’ve only found it at Whole Foods. I’ve not looked for it at Treasure Island but I doubt that would affect you either way. Last year, I went to a large Amish store near where my Aunt lives, thinking that I could get all of my dairy products there and she and I would make cheese during my visit. Well, their dairy products were no different than any of the groceries in that area. What a disappointment.

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  6. John, I am truly in awe of this….making cheese!! I would not have ever thought to attempt making cheese…not even if I had sleepless nights! I can only imagine how fresh tastingly good this must be. And those goat stuffed shells….omg they are calling me to dinner tonight!!! You deserve those red shoes, John!! p.s. I’m so not familiar with this Ruthie thing, but am going to check out your travels with her right now!!

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    • I never dreamt that I would do it either, Linda, but here I is! If you get the bug, I would strongly suggest you make a batch of ricotta. It is so easy to make and the results so much better than anything you’ll buy. It will also introduce you to some of the cheese basics and then you’ll be off and rolling. You’ve cooked many things far harder and more complicated than any of this. 🙂

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    • I know. Chicago is such a paradox. No sheep and no water buffalo but plenty of wool and buffalo wings. I’m tired of us cheese makers being over-looked by the City. We’re all hoping our new mayor will do something for us. Of course, we’ll be sending him a certain percentage of our cheese. It’s the way things are done here, after all. 🙂

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  7. Brilliant, wonderful post, John, and as soon as I have a few moments I’m reading up on your cheesy page, following links you suggest, and ordering the couple things I need. Make my own ricotta, but have never ventured into goat cheese (which I’m close to being in love with). I’m about to. You have iinspired me completely friend! Thank you for that!

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    • You are most welcome! If you’ve made ricotta then you’ll have no problem making goat cheese. It is very easy to do and the results are quick. And it is such a versatile cheese, you can use it anywhere with good results. Let me know how you do. Good luck!

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  8. Making cheese is on my “to do” list, and goat cheese is my fave all purpose cheese. Your great post is motivating me to give it a try soon. Those stuffed shells look incredible! Is that your spinach and ricotta recipe with a goat cheese sub? Really enjoyed reading your birthday adventures with Flat Ruthie, too. Clearly y’all had a blast!

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    • Thanks, Betsy. You should give it a try. It really isn’t that difficult and you’ll love the results. Yes, that is my stuffed shells recipe. All I did was swap out the ricotta for my goat cheese. And Flat Ruthie was a joy to have around. Everywhere we went, people commented about her. One waiter gave her a menu. At another restaurant, she was served a glass of water. It was like being with a celebrity. Too funny!

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  9. Brave of you to make your own cheese, John. I’ve only made the kind with drained yogurt. I am finicky about goat cheese: some tastes lovely and some tastes like the hair of the goat. It must be all in the milk you start with: if I were going to do this I would ask a farmer for a mild, sweet goat’s milk. I didn’t know pecorino was a sheep’s milk cheese.

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    • You’re lucky if you can get fresh goat’s milk. I bet that would make superb cheese! Pecorino is from the Italian pecore which means sheep. That’s the thing. The Italians make a host of cheese, each a blend of cow’s, sheep’s, and goat’s milk. Sometimes only 1 is used; others rely on 2 of the cheeses. My biggest problem with any of this is trying to find a reliable source for the dairy products that aren’t ultra-pasteurized. It’s nearly impossible, living in a large city, now that the mega-dairies have taken over. I hope you do try it, though, Sharyn. You’ll love it!

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  10. This is fantastic! It looks great! I’ve been really interested in making my own cheese. There’s a guy locally that makes his own cheese, but only offers workshops while I’m at school teaching (hopefully he’ll have something in the summer). I wanted to pick his brain before experiementing on my own. I’m not a fan of rennet, and I’ll avoid cheese if I see it on the label. However, if it’s not on the label, I’m blissfully happy.
    PS – I prefer pecorino romano also!

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    • I’d be interested in seeing how these cheeses can be made without rennet. I’ve checked out a number of recipes and each calls for it. If there’s a way around using it, I’ll gladly take it. And a cheese class would be great! I hope you can work it out so that you can attend it. And there is no cheese but pecorino romano!

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  11. I’ve always wanted to try making homemade cheese, but it seems like such a daunting task! I was watching the Food Network last night and actually watched someone make homemade ricotta. They make it look so easy!! Well, your cheese look creamy and fantastic. Just look at those stuffed shells. Ohhhhhhh my oh my!

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    • Oh, Caroline, but it is easy! My ricotta is just a little vinegar mixed into some warmed milk. A short while later, you’re straining out the curds. It really is that simple. And the cheese is the best ricotta you’ve ever tasted. Success with ricota will give you the courage and experience to try goat and cream cheeses. None of this is hard and you can easily make all of them. 🙂

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    • Greg, making these cheeses is easier than you think. It certainly worked out that way for me. Best of all, the results are really good! Considering the recipes you guys pull off regularly, making these cheeses would be a snap for you.

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  12. Thanks for the simple recipe and the motivation to make it. If your explanation of the ease of preparation and the photo of the stuffed shells doesn’t get me to make my own cheese perhaps I never will! That photo of the shells makes me want to grab my hubby and get on a plane and help myself to your meal! It is a gorgeous dish and the cheese is so ooey gooey. Perfect. My daughter actually made ricotta with her cousin recently. Honestly, I was a little skeptical if it would actually taste any better than store bought…so simple to make. But indeed, it was fantastic and light years above what I had had before.

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    • Geni, I first made ricotta for Zia a few years ago. She makes all of her own ricotta now, refusing to buy it from the store. And all it involves is adding some vinegar to warmed whole milk. You cannot get any simpler than that. Do try it. You will not be disappointed. Once you do, then give today’s goat cheese or next time’s cream cheese a try. You will be surprised!

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  13. That is so impressive John. I’ve always thought making cheese was way out of my depth. You do make it seem quite straightforward though. I just love that image of the cheese on the crostini with the salami on the side. I went to a cafe yesterday and ordered the antipasta plate. It was so disappointing. I would have much preferred to have had brought to me what you have plated up. And the cheese with the herbs of Provence – so tempting. I can’t offer you a buffalo herd but would some kangaroos be of any use?

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    • I dunno. I’ve never heard of kangaroo cheese and, given how destitute your continent’s early settlers often were, I think if kangaroo cheese were possible, they’d have made it by the wheel!

      After reading your blog for only a couple of weeks now, I assure you, there is nothing about making these cheeses that is beyond your scope. Compared to directing a school play, this is a breeze. 🙂

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      • Thanks John. You are so kind. Yes, kangaroos are beautiful to look at but not good for much else. And as for directing a play with a huge cast of kids aged from 4 to 12, I think I really would prefer to make some cheese!

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  14. Your comment about trying to find a lactating sheep in Chicago made me laugh. I think I’ll give cheese making a try sometime. You’ve made it seem quite accessible, and your photo of the goat cheese with herbs is especially enticing. Happy Birthday, by the way! A two-day celebration … good for you for doing it up in style!

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    • I hope you do try to make some, Mar. It’s not at all hard to do, with ricotta being the easiest, by far, to make. And the cheese is so much better than store-bought. Yes, I had a good birthday this year, to say the least. 🙂

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  15. This goat cheese sounds marvelous, and now I must away to see the ricotta recipe, because I know that’s one that would be well worth making at home, given the bland flavor and gritty texture of most store-bought stuff. The only really stellar ricotta I’ve had was some that a delightful Italiano in Seattle served us while giving us free samples of all sorts of goodies from his restaurant kitchen and telling us all sorts of stories not so different from yours about learning his cookery from the family. We were so thrilled that the place (a really great little informal eatery) was utterly empty at the moment except for us and our friends or we’d never have had this rich opportunity with him. Among the treasures he was sharing was this smooth, creamy, almost frosting-like ricotta and since I was swooning over it so and there was nobody but us chickens around, he invited me back to assist him as he filled the cannoli for our dessert. Best. Ever.

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    • Your description of the store-bought ricota is why I use the recipe I do. I’ve made it the traditional way, using whey left over from mozzarella, and it was not at all creamy. This recipe is much better. I hope you try it for yourself, Katherine. It’s easy to do and you won’t be disappointed. What a wonderful evening you spent in Seattle! And such a gift he gave you, a memory to keep and cherish for a lifetime. Yeah, you need to make this ricotta. 🙂

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  16. A serious post for the serious cheese maker in the home kitchen. WOW! I am going to check out Cheesy Stuff but with school in session, I can’t see my attempting cheese making at home. I wonder what my excuse will be in the summer? I think the information is thorough and valuable and I learned a lot, though. (I like the line about lactating sheep)
    I know my mother kept Rennet tablets and I am going to ask my sister about her use of it. I think I remember a bland vanilla custard type dessert in a little Pyrex custard cup.
    Thanks for the links to Flat Ruthie in Chicago. What a trip! I look forward to being surprised when she pops up again and insists on accompanying you somewhere cool! She can sure drink and eat. Your guest blog was wonderful and is getting rave reviews, John, so thanks again for taking her around for your birthday celebrations.

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    • I can appreciate that with your current schedule, there’s little time for making cheese. I do hope you try to make some this Summer. If nothing else, do try the ricotta recipe. You will not be disappointed. And you’re right about other uses for rennet. I’ve seen recipes for custards, puddings, and even ice creams.

      It really was my pleasure to host Flat Ruthie. It’s wonderful to see your city through the eyes of a cardboard cutout! 🙂 I loved how people stopped to tell their Flat Stanley experiences. To be sure, there are many more sights to be seen in and around Chicagoland and Flat Ruthie will see many of them. Stay tuned …

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  17. I hope you had a great birthday John! And I really had no idea making cheese was that simple. I won’t say easy, because goodness knows I’m not about to give it a try. I get freaked out when it comes to having to sanitize things. I’m loving the goat cheese though – and those stuffed shells were enough to kill me. They look incredible!

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    • Thank you, Kristy, I had a wonderful birthday! I really do hope you reconsider and make some ricotta. It is the easiest cheese to make and a vast improvement over anything you can buy. Moreover, your SousChefs can help and learn about cheese making in the process. And if you have any questions, drop me an email and I’ll help in any way I can. If my 89 year-old Aunt makes all of the ricotta she needs, you can, too. 🙂

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  18. This seems really challenging to me, especially in a home kitchen, but the rewards are great! Goat cheese is so versatile and I’m sure that really fresh it must be really light and creamy! And I love Flat Ruthie. She is quite an adventurer! I look forward to see what you cook up next, more cheeses? Debra

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    • Actually, Debra, these cheeses aren’t that hard to make. The first attempt is usually the worst because you don’t know what to expect. Things go much more smoothly once you know the process and exactly what’s needed. As I’ve advised others, do give making ricotta a try. You will be amazed at how easy it is and how tasty the result. Promise! 🙂

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  19. Hi John–I got as far as reading a great book on cheese making and came to the logical conclusion that I would like to have my own cow on a cute little farmette. I do hope you run across a herd of water buffalo wanting to be milked. That would be so awesome for making mozzarella cheese.
    – Michael

    p.s. Looks like your blog is about to hit 20,000. Time to celebrate!

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    • I think I’ll stick with cow’s milk mozzarella, although a previous commenter mentioned that water buffalo aren’t nearly as rare as I thought. So where’s the bufala mozzarella? Let’s put those beasts to work! Funny. I remember showing a friend that I was about to reach 2000 hits and telling him how surprised I was. I never expected people to be interested in my blog. I just wanted to get my family recipes and stories recorded for future family members. I still find it surprising.

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  20. I would be happy to milk the goat for you, lots of experience with that growing up on a farm in MO with 120 of them. My mom made goat cheese and I wouldn’t touch it, but I LOVE the stuff now (I have apologized to her more than once over this). I agree about the cheese making, those that you have talked about here are simple to make and far superior to anything found in stores–especially ricotta. I will have to try your recipe for goat cheese, thankfully, I do have a source here for milk.
    BTW–if you have a Costco near you, you can usually find Bufala Mozzarella there (somewhere close to the Pecorino Romano), bought some just last week for my Caprese Salad. Imported from Italy, it’s the real deal.

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    • Funny how much good food we refuse to eat as kids but love as adults. Having a good source for dairy is the biggest obstacle to overcome when making cheese at home. Everything’s ultra-pasteurized these days. You’re lucky if you have a good source. And THANK YOU for mentioning that bufala mozzarella is available at Costco. I cannot wait to see if my area’s Costco carries it, as well. This blogging thing can be so rewarding! 🙂

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  21. Pingback: Basil, Tomato & Goat Cheese Pizza with Cauliflower-Mozzarella Crust | Savoring Today

  22. John, you never cease to amaze me. Your family are so lucky that you have created this blog for them and we get to reap the rewards. Thank you for sharing this womderful post.

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  23. With as much goat cheese we go through I would love to make my own! I have never made my own cheese but I think I need to now! Those Goat Cheese Stuffed Shells are calling my name! 😉

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  24. This post brought back memories of my dad and uncles talking about their goat cheese making days in Italy. My dad just made some homemade pork sausage at my zio Brunos house today. I’ll have to ask him if they’d consider making their own cheese. I’m so excited I found your blog because if my dad and his family don’t write down any of there recipes, at least I have your blog to refer to for traditional Italian food. Keep up the wonderful posts!

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    • Sausage day, eh? I bet that would be something to see! I hope you get the chance, Lisa, to sit with your Dad and record his recipes. For me, if there wasn’t an actual recipe, I was fortunate enough to be able to help make the dish, but, I didn’t have a family — and a 2 year-old — in need of me, as you do. I bet you could make most of the old recipes quite a bit healthier, if given the chance. That would be great to see!

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  25. John, you are such an inspiration! I have never even thought of making my own cheese – a bit daunting I think – might have to reconsider – I promise to think about it. 😉 Reckon I should come and visit and you could give me a personal training session.
    Have a super weekend.
    🙂 Mandy

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    • Thank you, Mandy, but I’m hardly an inspiration. If I could sleep at night, or there were better television programming during the overnight hours, I never would have gotten involved in making these cheeses. I can understand the hesitancy at this point. Maybe once you see a couple more examples you’ll be encouraged to try making one yourself. None of them are that difficult, not like making crêpes! 🙂 If you do come to Chicago, we’ll make it a pasta-filled, cheese making holiday. Now that would be something!

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    • How I envy you! One must have the freshest, raw dairy to make really good cheese. Living here, in a big city, that is almost impossible to come across. So, I make do with what I can find. I visit rural Michigan a number of times each year but have never heard of any locals making cheese. And I do ask around, too. One day …

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  26. How cool is it that you’re making your own cheese!!! I’ve heard of people doing ricotta, but I must say I’ve never heard about people doing their own goat cheese. And it looks quite simple, and the final product looks just delicious! Love it in the shells…. mmmmm cheese and pasta…. 🙂

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    • Thanks, Stefanie. I never thought I’d be doing this at all. Like you, I thought it daunting. In reality, it is such an easy process. In fact, right now, I’ve got some cream cheese draining in the fridge. I’ll be packing it into containers in an hour or so. As I’ve urged others, if you get the bug to try to make your own cheese, start with my ricotta recipe. That is by far the easiest and the results are phenomenal.

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  27. I am so bookmarking this page (or your Cheesy Stuff page) for future reference. We’ve always wanted to make cheese – and did try mozzarella once, but it wasn’t exactly the resounding success we were hoping for. I love this idea – I just need to figure out where to get goat’s milk. 🙂

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    • Welcome! I, too, have had mozzarella missteps. That’s why I’m taking it slowly here, working my way to it with easier cheeses so that everyone gets used to working with curds. I would suggest you check out my ricotta recipe and try it first. It is such a delicious cheese, nice and creamy, that it will encourage you to try another. Stay tuned, the next cheese will be cream cheese. The process is very similar and the ingredients are easier to get. And the cream cheese is delicious! Either way, thanks for stopping by and taking the time to comment.

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  28. Hi John!
    I’m sorry I missed your B-day!!!
    I don’t know where I’ve been and was this possible… I can see from the photos with Flat Ruthie that you had a wonderful time.
    I loved the recipe for making cheese and the tour.

    Happy belated Birthday friend 🙂 !

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    • Thank you, Giovanna! Yes, it was a good birthday and bringing Flat Ruthie along made it all the more fun. If you enjoyed this cheese recipe, stay tunned. There’s more to come! 🙂

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  29. Oh, my goodness.. I leave for a few days and you just start making cheese!! Thank goodness I didn’t miss this one! I had to grin when you said you were “JUST” making goat cheese, cream cheese, ricotta, mascarpone, and mozzarella. Just a few, eh, John!! I can’t tell you how impressive that list is to me. And you carry on in your calm manner and make it seem so attainable for those of us with no experience at all. I love that.. and the fact that you “upcycled” a tin to make the perfect cheese form. I love this about you… you calmly visit and write such lovely comments and then Pow! you write a post with recipes that are just completely gourmet! Awesome!

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    • Well, this explains why the blogosphere was so cold these past few days: it was lacking the warmth of your smile, Smidge. 🙂

      Thank you for leaving such a nice comment. I can assure you, none of these cheeses are outside of your scope. The cheeses I’m going to make are the easy ones, the ones that are just about fool-proof. The only “tricky” one is the mozzarella but that’s why it is last on the schedule. If you’re thinking of trying to make some, I strongly suggest starting with my ricotta recipe. It is by far the easiest and the results are incredibly good. And the only difference between making ricota or, for example, cream cheese or mascarpone, is a little buttermilk and a longer time frame. Anyone can make these.

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    • Thank you so much, Sawsan. I’m happy that you so enjoy the ricotta recipe. There is really no comparison available in any of the stores around here. Considering how easy it is to make, there’s little reason to buy it anymore.

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  30. Adding this to the list of John’s cheese I’ve got to try! The goat cheese one still keeps me up nights, dreaming! 😉 (Funny thing, I recently came across a recipe for a homemade Mascarpone in our local paper and was going to give it a go. If I liked it lots, was going to post it. Won’t even consider such a thing now…will simply wait for the masterful story-telling cheesemaker to do so!) Where do you buy your rennet John? local, or on-line? do you have a favorite?

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    • I was just on your site commenting about your rhubarb orange jam recipe. None of the cheese recipes I’m sharing are hard to make, just like the mascarpone you saw. As for the rennet, you can purchase it from 3 sites listed at the end of my Cheesy Stuff page (Ricki’s, Leener’s, and Larry’s). When I have rennet, I use it and I’ve not noticed a difference between the 3 sites’ product. But, rennet has a relatively short shelf life, so, I’ll often use Junket tablets. Although I wouldn’t necessarily use Junket for aged, hard cheeses, for these few cheeses it works fine, is cheaper, more readily available, and has a longer shelf life. You may be able to find it in your grocer’s pudding/custard aisle or online. I’ll be happy to assist you in any way I can. Either drop me an email or leave your questions here. Good luck!

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  34. The goat cheese stuffed shells looks really delicious. I went to make a recipe that needed goat cheese and I couldn’t find it anywhere. So I went with a different cheese. Your homemade version looks amazing. John, you take so much time with your recipes and they are all so distinctively delicious. Thank you for sharing them with your stories!

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    • This is one of those times, Judy, when I wish I could get some raw or just plain pasteurized dairy products. Around here, the only goat’s milk that’s available is ultra-pasteurized and it really does affect the cheese’s flavor — and not in a good way. Still, this isn;t a bad cheese and, as you noticed, it does do very well as a filling for shells. Yum!
      Thanks, Judy, for leaving such a complimentary comment/

      Like

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