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I can't do goat cheese. Substitute?

Susan627 Jan 20, 2009 04:41 PM

I love any kind of cheese, the stinkier the better. But I just can't wrap my arms around chevre. I have tried all kinds, many times, but to me it just taste hairy. So I would like to know, what would be the best general substitute in recipes that call for it? I'm trying to figure out what would be the "go to cheese", not a substitute based on the recipe (i.e., use brie here, feta here, etc.), if that makes any sense.

  1. monavano Jun 23, 2011 11:31 AM

    Easy to sub with any sour dairy product, even buttermilk!

    1. e
      escondido123 Jun 14, 2011 09:19 AM

      Whether the cheese is going to be used hot or cold can make a difference. For many cold preparations I would substitute feta but for hot I might use a creme fraiche--heat changes cheeses. I don't think there is a universal substitution that would be the best in all circumstances.

      1. s
        sueann Jun 14, 2011 08:56 AM

        how about mexican cheese? fresco

        1. Sooeygun Jan 22, 2009 05:46 AM

          I have used Boursin instead of chevre.

          1. k
            KTinNYC Jan 21, 2009 11:48 AM

            Maybe cream cheese?

            1. oana Jan 21, 2009 10:13 AM

              double cream Bulgarian feta would be my "go to" substitute.
              it is just lovely and nothing like its counterparts.
              happy eating, oana

              1. 4
                4Snisl Jan 20, 2009 07:53 PM

                In addition to these great suggestions, for fresh goat cheese, drained plain yogurt ("yogurt cheese") crumbles nicely into unheated applications.

                My method, which yields a fairly firm texture, is:
                1. Line a fine-mesh strainer with a paper towel. Place over measuring cup.
                2. Mix yogurt with a tiny bit of salt, herbs, etc. Dump into strainer- don't fill all the "whey" to the top. (oh dear- that was a terrible pun, wasn't it? :)
                3. Fold paper towel over the yogurt to cover completely.
                4. Weight down with a clean can if desired (a tomato paste can is my usual go-to) Leave in fridge for at least 24 hours, up to 3 days.

                It actually unmolds into a pretty little half-dome. I've only used low-fat yogurt in this application- suspect it would work fine with full-fat yogurt, but am unsure if non-fat yogurt would work.

                I've used this swap lots of time for people who are averse to that "goat-y tang" :). Hope this helps!

                13 Replies
                1. re: 4Snisl
                  goodhealthgourmet Jan 21, 2009 09:10 AM

                  how could i forget yogurt cheese?! good call.

                  1. re: goodhealthgourmet
                    4Snisl Jan 21, 2009 12:36 PM

                    GHG, being the fellow dietitian and all.....do you know if this works with non-fat yogurt? I rarely buy the stuff myself but if it's the "usual fridge stand-by" for certain folks, I'd rather them avoid any unnecessary additional purchases if they can just use what they have......

                    1. re: 4Snisl
                      goodhealthgourmet Jan 21, 2009 01:05 PM

                      it works with all fat percentages, from whole milk to nonfat. HOWEVER, it doesn't work with Greek-style yogurt because that's already drained, nor does it work with yogurt that has been thickened with pectin (which is the case with some nonfat yogurts, so tell them to check the label).

                      1. re: goodhealthgourmet
                        Isolda Jun 23, 2011 11:27 AM

                        Responding two years late, but it absolutely does work with Greek yogurt. You just put it into the cheesecloth, cover it with cheesecloth, and put a heavy plate on it to press it down, then let it sit in the fridge for a couple of hours. I have some yogurt cheese made this way (from Chobani non-fat Greek-style yogurt, believe it or not) sitting in my fridge right now.

                        1. re: Isolda
                          goodhealthgourmet Jun 23, 2011 04:33 PM

                          ah, using something to *weigh* it down is a great call! because the simple draining method is pretty useless with thick, Greek-style yogurt that's already been strained before. nice :)

                          1. re: goodhealthgourmet
                            melpy Jun 12, 2013 04:52 AM

                            I never weigh down my Greek yogurt before making yogurt cheese and it always turns out great. Just drain through cheese cloth or a coffee filter over night in te fridge over a strainer ad bowl.

                      2. re: 4Snisl
                        calliope_nh Jun 14, 2011 03:06 PM

                        Yougurt cheese was my first thought uponreading this post. I use fat free Stonyfield Farm and it works great.

                    2. re: 4Snisl
                      oana Jan 21, 2009 10:16 AM

                      this is wonderful 4Snisl! I have never tried it and I think I will give it a go this weekend. do you think it will work with cheesecloth instead of paper towel?
                      happy eating, Oana

                      1. re: oana
                        goodhealthgourmet Jan 21, 2009 11:47 AM

                        oana, it absolutely does.

                        line a large, fine-meshed strainer or colander with a double layer of cheesecloth, and place a bowl under the strainer to catch the liquid (whey) that will separate from the yogurt. pour the yogurt into the lined strainer, cover it, and refrigerate for 8-24 hours - the longer it sits, the thicker the cheese will become.

                        1. re: oana
                          4Snisl Jan 21, 2009 12:32 PM

                          Second that cheesecloth will work fine- it's actually the more environmentally-responsible choice to boot since you can re-use it!

                          A thin linen-type towel also works well.....

                          Also, something that I didn't mention- if you're using a low-fat yogurt, try to find one that is stabilized by milk solids instead of pectin. Just my humble opinion, but I think that the texture comes out slightly better in the drained result.

                          Good luck!

                          1. re: 4Snisl
                            goodhealthgourmet Jan 21, 2009 01:06 PM

                            one more alternative for draining material (though less environmentally responsible than cheesecloth or linen towels) - coffee filters!

                            1. re: goodhealthgourmet
                              jaykayen Jan 21, 2009 01:33 PM

                              I actually use a plastic and nylon coffee filter. Works perfectly.

                            2. re: 4Snisl
                              oana Jan 22, 2009 07:05 AM

                              no low fat for me 4Snisl :) full fat all the way :) thank you so much for the advice though :)
                              happy eating, Oana

                        2. goodhealthgourmet Jan 20, 2009 05:35 PM

                          jaykayen is right - no other cheese will provide the same distinct, tangy flavor. (there's also a difference in flavor & texture between fresh chevre and aged goat cheese.)

                          in terms of the best comparisons for texture & moisture content, i'd suggest queso fresco, farmer cheese, pot cheese, queso anejo, cotija, or dry curd cottage cheese (blended until smooth).

                          4 Replies
                          1. re: goodhealthgourmet
                            jackie2830 Jun 9, 2013 06:21 AM

                            Thanks to all......yes, this is still [2013] a VERY useful piece of info, for someone like me who just doesn't like the flavor of goat cheese. I'm making Giada's Apple Galette with Goat Cheese and Sour Cherry and Almond Topping and wanted a texturally/flavorful substitute. With all your help, I also f/u with Google and found that Queso Blanco would probably be a really good sub. I'm not sure Queso Fresco would be however, since it says it's partially made with goats milk. Hope the original [Susan627] questioner did some research as I did since it sounds like there may be an allergy issue for her, where as I just don't like the taste.

                            1. re: jackie2830
                              Soul Vole Jun 9, 2013 04:18 PM

                              In my experience queso fresco is usually made from cow's milk, though I can believe that sometimes goat milk is included.

                              1. re: jackie2830
                                goodhealthgourmet Jun 9, 2013 06:11 PM

                                Hmm, I'm not sure where you got the idea that the OP had allergy concerns...? All she said was that she couldn't get past the flavor of chevre.

                                1. re: goodhealthgourmet
                                  jackie2830 Jun 12, 2013 04:42 AM

                                  Hmm, you're correct, she doesn't say she's allergic.....just a non-lover like myself. Well, it may still be a useful fact for someone who IS allergic.

                            2. j
                              jaykayen Jan 20, 2009 04:46 PM

                              Goat cheese has a taste, you can't substitute cow's milk or sheep's milk cheese and expect it to taste the way the recipe intended it to turn out.

                              The most you can do is substitute the texture. Recipes calling for fresh, soft goat cheese can be subbed with ricotta, cream cheese, mascarpone, farmers cheese...something like that.

                              2 Replies
                              1. re: jaykayen
                                scubadoo97 Jan 21, 2009 04:11 PM

                                A good French feta that has been soaked in water or milk to remove some salt is pretty darn close

                                1. re: jaykayen
                                  DCgrrl Mar 2, 2013 09:30 AM

                                  Yes. it has a taste. One that some people do not like. They are reading a recipe and it sound delicious, till they get to goat cheese. They still want to try the recipe or, actually the method used for the dish, so I think mostly people are looking to find a substtute that will mimic the consistency, and still be palatable to them. Not everybody wants TANG, GRASS, EARTH and S#!t taste. Guess you can count me among the goat cheese haters. If I werein a restaurant, and this is the taste the chef intended, I'd just order something else. At home, I feel free to alter a recipe in any way I see fit.

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