Homemade Chevre

Is there such a thing as the Goat Police?

I started making cheese about two years ago when a former coworker introduced me to his newest hobby: homemade feta cheese.  I made the feta and realized I no longer needed a grocery store to buy feta cheese.  I so love my homemade feta.  Sublime.

In turn, I introduced a dear friend to the making of feta and she took it a step further: chevre.  Oh my.  I can’t stop making it.  I’ve been buying my goat milk at the grocery store, but have tried to buy it from local goat farmers.  The problem is that they can not sell the milk for human consumption, only baby goat consumption.  Baaaa (my whine-aware it’s a sheep sound—how does one bleat?).  Apparently there are different methods/rules of sanitation for processing to allow for the milk to be sold for humans.  Blah, blah.  However, I’m really tempted to buy some for “my baby goat” (some kids have imaginary friends, mine just happens to be a goat) and try it.  I mean, seriously, in the “olden days” didn’t people drink fresh goat milk?  What, are the Goat Police going to arrest me?  I’d love to hear from some goat “professionals” on this.

Regardless, I adore my goat cheese.  Better Half and I eat it plain, with roasted garlic,  sprinkled with various herbs and spices, etc.  Visit Fias Co Farm for the recipe I use.

Baaa Baaa.

Mediterranean Orzo

Simple dinner.  Better Half got home and while he wasn’t feeling too well, I still had yummy fresh lamb chops in the fridge and I wasn’t about to let those lovelies (which I had to buy out of state) waste away.  Also, unfortunately again for Better Half, he is not a big fan of basil or oregano so while this might not have been his cup of tea, too bad because I’m the cook, and I loved it!  The lamb chops were delicious; a simple rub of oregano, pepper, salt, garlic and then grilled approximately three minutes on each side. The orzo was nice and cool; perfect on a hot summer evening.

Mediterranean Orzo

(serves four)

8 ounces orzo pasta
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 cup fresh diced tomatoes (I used yellow because that’s what I had fresh)
1/4 cup chopped Kalamata olives
1 tablespoon fresh lemon zest
1/4 cup chopped fresh basil
2 tablespoons chopped fresh oregano
2 garlic cloves, minced
1/4 cup fresh (homemade!) feta cheese
Salt/Pepper, to taste
Good
balsamic vinegar

Prepare 8 ounces orzo per package instructions and cook until al dente. Drain and rinse under cold water.   Toss cold orzo with remaining ingredients, except balsamic vinegar.  Prior to serving, drizzle small amount of balsamic vinegar over top.

It would even be tasty with chopped artichoke hearts and sun-dried tomatoes.  Or, ooh, what about nice, chunky tuna mixed in….  Enjoy!

Baked Bacon and Basil Eggs

Still can’t get enough basil in my system this summer.  I also love eggs, and hello, who doesn’t adore bacon?  This recipe was made just for little ‘ol me, so if you’d like to make more, simply double, etc., the ingredients to suit your fancy.  Also, in full disclosure, I prefer my egg yolk not cooked all the way through, but with the current brouhaha over eggs (even though I use fresh locally raised eggs), I erred on the side of caution with this dish.

Baked Bacon and Basil Eggs

1 fresh egg
1 slice cooked bacon, crumbled
¼ cup loosely packed basil leaves, chopped
¼ cup fresh bread crumbs
1 tablespoon crumbled feta cheese
1 tablespoon heavy cream (or half/half)
Salt/Pepper, to taste

Preheat oven to 3750°.  Lightly grease (olive oil) one ramekin and layer bread crumbs, basil, and bacon.  Gently crack egg over bacon and pour cream on top of egg.  Add cheese and bake for approximately 15 minutes, or until egg is set to your liking.  Salt and pepper to taste.

Homemade Feta Cheese

A former co-worker tracked me down one day and knowing my love of making wine and champagne (that’s a whole other topic), told me I had to try making cheese.  Cheese…  A friend and I always had talked about how fun it would be to make cheese, but never went any further than talk.  I love cheese.  I mean, I really love cheese.   I can eat the darkest blue-veined cheese imaginable just by popping it straight into my pie-hole.  I know they say your body is mostly water; mine is mostly whey.  No kidding.  After securing a sample of the necessary (four)  ingredients, such as lipase and culture, I made my first batch of feta cheese.  Heaven in a big ‘ole salty brine!  I can’t bring myself to buy feta cheese from the store now.  This stuff rocks.  Seriously rocks.  I’ve also made goat cheese and find it scrumptious, but finding fresh goat milk hasn’t been easy.  For the directions I use in making feta cheese, check out Fias Co Farm’s website.  It may seem overwhelming when reading it, but it’s embarrassingly easy, and the goat cheese I can do with my eyes blind-folded.  Okay, I haven’t really tried that yet because I’m a klutz, but if my better half would let me, I’d be willing to give it a whirl!  I promise if you try cheese, you will love making it!

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