Wednesday, November 16, 2011

snack time: homemade ricotta cheese

Forever ago I made some ricotta cheese and I've been wanting to make it again ever since. So I thought I would reacquaint myself with the recipe. The best thing I've discovered about this cheese after making it the first time, is that it is so versatile. Because the flavors are subtle, it can be really fun to mix other herbs and flavors in, or serve it with stronger flavors, such preserves.



To make ricotta cheese...

Pour a gallon of whole milk (you'll want to buy the fanciest and organicest you can find), 1 tsp salt, and 1 tsp citric acid (easily found in bulk sections at hippy grocery stores) into a stainless steal pot over medium heat. Stir the milk until it reaches 100 degrees (cooking thermometer is helpful here and it makes you feel like a real chef) then let sit still until it's 175. Once it's up to 175, turn off the heat and let sit for another 15 minutes. At this point you'll have noticed the top has gotten really thick and lumpy. These are the curds! Scoop out the curds into cheese clothe (I actually don't own cheese clothe, so I just used a linen dish towel) that has been draped in a colander. I recommend doing this in the sink. Wring out the clothe with the cheese in it to remove excess whey. Do this a few times, then let the cheese sit in the clothe and colander some more to drain. How much you let it drain is up to you, and how firm you want the cheese to be, but it probably won't need to drain for much longer than an hour. Once it's ready you can mix in herbs or fancy salt or just have it plain.

2 comments:

  1. Ah! I have to talk to you more about this. I'm dying to try to make cheese but I've been totally intimidated...it seems so sciency! Love this post!!

    ReplyDelete
  2. Let's make a cheese date! For serious, it's so easy. We can even do mozzarella if we're feelin' feisty.

    ReplyDelete

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