19 March 2012

From the Chef ~ Homemade Ricotta

Tired of cakey, dry ricotta that tastes almost nothing like the real thing?  Sick of paying an arm and a leg for anything remotely close to quality ricotta?  Well, have I got the antidote for you!  This is great stuff and easy to make.  I toast bread into crunchy crostini rounds and serve the ricotta on top as a simple appetizer.  For my girls, I mix in a little powdered sugar, vanilla and chopped chocolate chips and have cannoli filling for dessert.  Though technically not true ricotta, you’ll agree that it’s a worthy facsimile.  As always, call if you have any questions!   (Souce:  Seattle Times Pacific Magazine, 5/31/09)

1. Combine 2 quarts whole mile, 2 cups buttermilk, 1 cup heavy cream, and 1/2 tsp. salt in a large pan.  The better the milk, the better the ricotta, but admittedly, I’ve used basic QFC milk and it still turns out nicely.  Heat over medium heat, stirring frequently, until reaching 175°, when milk will begin to curdle.  Set aside for 10 minutes.
2. Using a large slotted spoon, gently lift curds into a cheesecloth-lined colander; scrape any curds left clinging to the bottom and sides of the pan and add them to the colander.  Let drain for about 30 min.
3. Tie up ends of cheesecloth and suspend “bag” of curds from faucet for up to 60 minutes.  I don't like my ricotta too dry, so I let it drain for roughly 20 minutes.  Pack ricotta in a covered container and enjoy for up to a week! 

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