I found an easy, non-rennet using recipe on the internet, and holy hell in a handbasket was I shocked at how good it was. The original website can be found at the bottom of this post.
It’s so easy to make, it’s almost a joke.
A litre of goats milk. I used this UK highly pasteurized one but will try it with Salalah raw as soon as opportunity knocks.
¼ cup of lemon juice. I don’t know if limes work as well
half a clove of grated garlic
salt to taste
whatever else you think might be good in this cheese
A heavy pot you feel confident heating milk in
Candy thermometer (or meat thermometer, any kind of thermometer that can take going into food.)
Deep bowl to put under it
Cloth to strain the cheese. Cheesecloth is probably way too porous so if you use it, use plenty of layers. Better to use a clean white cotton cloth.
Pour the milk into the pot and heat it up on medium. It needs to get to 180 F exactly.
Don’t bugger off, wait for it, and turn off the heat exactly at 180 F.
Pour in the lemon juice and stir it once or twice.
Give it about a half minute. It should curdle but it won’t look like it; it will just look kind of weird and perturbed.
Meanwhile, place your cloth in the colander and put it over the deep bowl.
Ladle the milk into the cloth and you will see that it has in fact curdled.
The whey goes out through the bottom and the curds are trapped in the cloth.
Tie it up, making sure all corners are tied so nothing runs out.
Make some sort of knot from the remaining lengths of cloth, and you will have to stick a wooden spoon handle through it and hang it up like you see in the picture. Doesn’t matter how you do it. It just has to drain and drip. Probably a good idea to keep both the colander and the deep bowl under it so it can drip in peace.
Leave it alone for a while, a couple of hours anyway.
When you come back to it, just open that bag and scrape the soft cheese out into a bowl. You should taste it first and then you will have an idea about what you want to add to it. I have only done the grated garlic and salt but today I will put in some thyme as well.
I think it will blow your mind.
It’s interesting that here in Salalah, where a few years ago you could barely find bread, now has the largest Lulu’s in the Middle East. And this, combined with a recent dearth of restaurants, have made me try to make food that I wouldn’t consider making in New York: Frankincense ice cream, frangipani sorbet, goat cheese, and of course the hard candies that I posted about before. Happily, I have plenty of people to cook for!