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How did we become a people proud to serve prepared products? Fresh versus not. Mystery ingredients versus known. Delicious versus truly icky.

Today I made ricotta cheese. Simple ingredients. Easy method. Stellar results. Call me a convert.

Ingredients & process: 2 quarts whole milk, 1 cup cream, 1/2 teaspoon salt. Cook over medium heat until gently bubbling. [A dirty martini helps the time waiting for the milk to simmer pass splendidly]. Add 3 tablespoons of lemon juice, stir gently. Sip martini.

Here’s the milk etal simmering up to 200 degrees, then add the lemon.

The curds. (Miss Muffet was nobody’s fool.)

Once the curds and whey have separated, drain in a cheesecloth-lined colander over a big bowl (you’ll be surprised how much liquid is left over).

Whey. Smells delicious. Apparently you can save for use in oatmeal, bread making, and other stuff beyond me.

Refrigerate cheese for up to two days. But consider nibbling a bit while still warm. Looking forward to brunch tomorrow!

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