Wednesday, January 7, 2009

Homemade Ricotta Cheese

Are we approaching a world of “do it yourself”?

Growing up, my dad was always the ultimate handy man. If something broke, he fixed it. Today, I still consider myself my fathers’ daughter…only not in a sense of ‘fixing’ things, but as the ultimate handy wife in the kitchen. I like doing things myself. Whether it be making my own vanilla extract, rolling out my own chicken stock, making my own ravioli, mashing my own potatoes, and even making my own ricotta cheese. Some may find these projects tedious, but I find them fun.

What you may come to realize by making things yourself is the satisfaction that you can do it, and in the meantime realize…that things taste so much better, fresh. I think we are reaching a new age of ‘fresh foods’, organic, local, or what have you because let’s face it folks, it’s time to get back to the simple way of things. (Oh yeah, it’s probably easier to buy that in the store…but what kind of fun would that be?).

I was so excited when I opened up my January Bon Appétit because they featured a “how to” section on ricotta cheese. The headline alone intrigued me to read it but what actually enticed me to try it was how easy it was…and you won’t believe it’s all from ingredients and tools you most likely have at home.

Homemade Ricotta Cheese
Recipe from: Bon Appétit, January 2009
Yields: 1 ½ cups

8 cups whole milk (8 cups= half gallon)
1 teaspoon salt
3 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice

Line a colander with 4 layers of cheesecloth and put over a bowl to collect any drainage. (You can find cheesecloth at just about any grocery store. I found mine at Kroger by all the kitchen tools.)

In a heavy bottomed sauce pan, simmer the milk and salt on medium-high heat. Don’t boil it.

Once it simmers, stir in the lemon juice until curds form (This will only take about a minute).
With a slotted spoon, spoon out the curds and put them into the colander lined with cheesecloth. Let them drain for only a minute, then add to a bowl and cover and chill for 3 hours or up to 2 days.
Discard the left over liquid from the sauce pan.

1 comment:

Cooking for Comfort by Jennifer said...

Wow! It's awesome you made this yourself! Thanks for sharing!!!!