Cooking with Goats Cheese
Fresh Goats Cheese – and by this I’m referring to goats’ cheese that is not matured and does not have a surface rind – is so refreshingly acidic and densely creamy. It can be used in so many different recipes and is perfectly suited to the Australian climate – particularly in the warmer weather.
Chèvre, which is literally the French word for Goat, and best pronounced in Australia as ‘Shev’ – can also be known as soft goat cheese. It usually comes in a log, round or block shape. Once you open the chèvre pack you need to store it in an airtight container in the fridge, and ideally eaten within a few days. If you can’t eat it all, then marinate it or freeze it. Freezing it will make the texture slightly grainy – but its still good for cooking.
Marinating chèvre is delicious, fun and easy. Get a clean sterile jar, and layer the chèvre in it, along with fresh herbs (my favourites are thyme, rosemary or bay leaf) garlic and peppercorns. You then completely cover the cheese in oil – my preferred blend is 30% Olive Oil with 70% any other vegetable oil that doesn’t solidify when cold. This blend will let you put your jar of cheese in the fridge without the oil going firm and looking like the cheese is suspended in butter. Make sure the oil completely covers the cheese – as this is what naturally preserves the cheese and gives a long shelf life of a couple of months. If the oil level drops and the remaining chèvre is exposed, then ensure that you that you top it up with more oil
Goat Curd has a similar flavour to chèvre – but it is spreadable and tangier. The French call this cheese Fromage Blanc (white cheese) but this name never really took off in Australia. This is also an easy cheese to use – just make sure you always use a clean spoon when dishing out of the tub and put the lid on tight when returning it to the fridge. This will give you at least two weeks of shelf life once you open the tub.
Goat Curd is so easy to spread on baguettes and bruschetta. It pairs very well with cured meats such as salami or smoked salmon. I then finish the pairing with crispy green cucumber and a relish or condiment that I have in the fridge.
Goat Curd is also great as a dip base – and your imagination or google inspiration is your only limit on flavour variations.
Here’s some of our favourite easy uses that have a wide appeal – you can use either Goats Curd or the Chevre in these recipes:
Salad –featuring roasted pumpkin, rocket and goats cheese – cutt.ly/goats-cheese-salad
Pasta – simple and refreshing Goat Cheese and Peas cutt.ly/goats-cheese-pasta
Ravioli – easy and impressive which also uses left over ham cutt.ly/goats-cheese-ravioli
Vegetables – honey roasted carrots – perfect for Christmas cutt.ly/roasted-vegetables
Risotto – pumpkin, pea and goats’ cheese cutt.ly/risotto
Fritters – amazing crumbed and deep fried goodness cutt.ly/goats-cheese-fritters
Pastries – our great friends at Careme have an inspiring collection of pasty recipes using goats cheese cutt.ly/careme-pastry-goat-cheese-recipes
Fresh Goat Cheeses best match to wines that have similar characters – so think fresh light and acidic. Sauvignon Blanc is a match that easily comes to mind, but it doesn’t need to be limited to this. There are other fresh white wines that will work really well – so have fun tasting and experimenting to find your favourite combo.