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I am constantly amazed at how animated and talkative people get when you mention food. The mere aroma of certain foods can evoke memories that transport us back to a special place and time. Food can bridge the gap between all ages, races and ethnicities.
Let's face it, the only thing that should ever come between people is a table and some serving bowls.

Monday, March 12, 2007

Homemade Ricotta Cheese


Ricotta is so easy to make and the taste is so fresh and creamy that you may just reconsider ever getting store bought again. This is still great for eating and using in all your cooking maybe even better.
You will need a cooking thermometer.

Preparation Time: 45 minutes

Ingredients:
1 gallon whole pasteurized milk
1/3 cup plus 1 teaspoon distilled white vinegar
1/4 teaspoon salt (more if you want a saltier taste and if you are not going to use it for desserts)
Don’t forget Thermometer(temperature is key)

Directions:



  • Rinse the inside of the pot you intend to use with cold water (this helps prevent the milk from scorching). Place 1 gallon milk in large, heavy non-reactive pot on medium heat. Add salt and stir briefly. Allow milk to heat up slowly, stirring occasionally. Soon you will notice steam start to form above the surface and tiny bubbles appearing on the milk. You want it to reach 180-185 degrees, near scalding temperature, just before it comes to a boil. Check the temperature with your thermometer.


  • When it reaches the correct temperature, take the pot off the burner, add the vinegar and stir gently for only one minute. You will notice curds forming immediately. Cover with a dry clean dish towel and allow the mixture to sit undisturbed for a couple of hours. You can also begin preparing your ricotta in the morning before going to work and let it sit until you come home.


  • When the ricotta has rested for 2 hours or more take a piece of cheesecloth, dampen it and place it inside a colander. With a slotted spoon, ladle out the ricotta into the prepared colander. Place the colander with ricotta inside of a larger pan so it can drain freely. Let it drain for two hours or so depending on how creamy or dry you want your cheese to be.
    Lift the cheesecloth up by the four corners and twist gently. If the liquid runs clear, squeeze a little more. If the liquid runs milky, there is no more need to squeeze. Place in a tight sealed container. Refrigerate. It will keep for up to 7 days. Ricotta does not freeze well.
This recipe will give you 4 cups of ricotta cheese

2 comments:

Glenna said...

Very nice! I'm going to have to try this just for fun. I'll let you know when I do!

Kirin said...

Great! I agree with Glenna this looks like super fun, I'm making it!