Friday, February 25, 2011

A Special Dinner at Home: Part II

Homemade ricotta. Sounds intimidating, right? Nope. Not so much. Can you dump into a pot? Can you open and measure milk? Then you can make ricotta. And you will not be sorry--it is SO GOOD.

I used this recipe from Ina Garten. 
  • 4 cups whole milk
  • 2 cups heavy cream
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 3 tablespoons good white wine vinegar
Ok, so we start with the milk.

Measure out the milk and pour into a pot. Add salt and bring to a boil. I stirred the mixture a lot so it wouldn't burn. After it comes to a boil, add the vinegar and turn off the heat. I didn't have white wine vinegar, so I used red.

 The acid in the vinegar will cause the milk to curdle. It will separate into curds and whey. Next, dump the whole shebang into a strainer lined with cheesecloth that's been placed over a bowl. See? Here we have the curds.

All the whey will drain off, and the curds will thicken. I let mine sit for a good hour at least, so when I finally served it, it was pretty thick, like cream cheese.

I even thickened more after this photo. I served the ricotta on my homemade pasta (coming soon! Next post) and it was Top 5 Things I Have Ever Made.
With the remaining ricotta, I even used it like cream cheese--on a bagel with cranberry sauce, it was epic. And on a pizza with roasted garlic and prosciutto, it was transcendent.
So don't let the name intimidate you--it's really easy. Give it a whirl!

1 comment:

Dr. Powell said...

Looks great! And how funny- This was already on my to-do list for the next couple of weeks...I've decided to take up "mastering" Italian cooking. My mom inspired me with her Italian cooking class... and well, all the food types are too much for me to handle so I've decided to try and master just one! I can't afford the classes around here, so I am going to just read a bunch of books and start cookin!
My mom makes homemade ricotta really routinely, so I knew it was a snap, but yours looks SO good.
Can't wait to make mine!