Hi friends! I know by the time you’re reading this it will most likely be Thursday which is no longer technically mid-week…sorry! It’s been a busy one with the kids off school, keeping up with some photoshoot business and nursing my achy body from a stupid fall this weekend. All that and I don’t really have a cohesive meal plan this week! I didn’t get to go to the Farmer’s Market this past Sunday for the first time literally since we were out of town this summer…SO, I am horribly thrown off needless to say! But Good Eggs helped bandage the gaping wounds in our fridge and I’ll be headed to the Marin Farmer’s Market again Thursday morning (despite storm predictions) so all will be right in the world again!
My meals this week have been some go-to favorites – homemade pizza, lentil-a-roni, and tonight, loaded baked sweet potatoes! I had to find an excuse to make this goat cheese again. I made it for the first time last week when I went to a potluck with a bunch of foodie friends and they all LOVED it (non-vegans said it was possibly even better than cheese!!). So, I enthusiastically made it again a couple days later but tried using a bigger blender and it didn’t work out well at all, so I had to redeem myself and make sure I hadn’t just lucked out making a good batch the first time. MAJOR success the third time as well. And here I will now share the tricks I’ve gathered, and strongly urge you to gather the supplies and start soaking your cashews NOW.
The full recipe can be found here, at C’est La Vegan. So as to follow the rules of blogger etiquette (I think), I will not re-post the recipe here so you’ll need to head over there for the full details. Here I will share some pictures of my steps and let you know what I figured out works well…to give you that exrtra little push to say “You can DO it!”
Get ready to make the PERFECT non-dairy -not-goat cheese!
Start by soaking your cashews – usually folks say to do it “overnight” but because of the steps in this recipe and the time you have to let things sit, I found that putting them out to soak in the morning was actually better because then I could do the mixing step in the evening, let it sit out all night, then refrigerate in the morning and bake in the afternoon/evening…that’s just what worked for me. But you can soak the cashews and then refrigerate them for up to 3 days, so if you don’t get to it when you think you will, all hope is not lost!
When it comes to the ingredients, I went with the original recipe but reduced the salt to 1 tsp instead of what she calls for. I read a bunch of the comments and enough folks said it was a bit too salty, so I reduced it and I think it’s plenty salty with 1 tsp and I wouldn’t want it any more. I also didn’t do any pepper on the outside…I will eventually experiment with flavor mix-ins or stuff to roll it in, but it’s perfect pure so I’m in no rush!
Now here is the part that I found to be MOST important. I blended them in my single-sized mixer. The attachment that is meant for smoothies and stuff…I have a high powered blender, but this is a small blade and I wasn’t sure it would work. But this is where I got lucky having tried it this way the first time. (I tried a bigger one the second time and even after 6 minutes it never firmed up…nor did leaving it out for the full 12 hours). Anyway, with the smaller mixer, it was great having it in such a small space because I think the friction helped it thicken up beautifully. The recipe says it’s really important to blend for 6 minutes but as much as I stopped and scraped and shook and did everything I could think of, I just couldn’t get my blender to keep blending the full 6 minutes. It was hot and steaming and beautifully creamy and thick, so I decided that must be good enough!
So I scooped out onto cheesecloth as directed and because it was SO thick, I was able to really shape it the way I wanted to. I spread it out in a log shape and used each side of the cheese cloth alternately pulled up and around to round it out a bit before I made the actual roll. I’m sorry the pictures are really very wretched…I didn’t have time to take stunning staged photos and I couldn’t bear to keep this recipe to myself any longer.
Once you form the shape you want, roll up the cheese cloth and tie off the ends. I found that tying off one end and then holding it up to twist and tighten before tying the second end worked well.
Then set it in your colander on top of a plate incase you have any moisture run-off (I didn’t when I used the right blender).
Let it sit for 12 hours and then refrigerate
for a bit. I kept mine in the fridge all day while I was at work and then when I got home, I pulled it out and followed the steps to bake it!
…now go do it! You will feel like a ROCK STAR!!