Alice Choo-Shee-Nam—Living In Durham Community Blog
The Fresh Herbs and Spices added to the Cheese is for the Ricotta Stuffed Shell Lasagne with Bechamel And Garlic Pasta Sauce Recipe featured on this Blog.
Fresh Ricotta Curds Spooned into the Cheesecloth
I was dancing in the Kitchen and singing, “I just made cheese, I just made cheese” I know my readers don’t want to join me and admit that they do in fact “Sing in the Kitchen” but I don’t mind sharing that information. Even my son was dancing and singing.
That is the whole idea anyway, you want your kids to have fun in the kitchen.
Chef Gordon Ramsay often cook in the Kitchen with his Children has seen on his Television show. You can see him in action by clicking on the link below:
AT IT’S BEST!
I made my Son Richard hold the bottle and pour the Olive Oil so I could show the readers the effect of adding the Olive Oil. It looks like a lot went in but no. He tilted the bottle and I snapped the shot quickly.
FRESH HOMEMADE RICOTTA CHEESE
This recipe will yield about 4 1/2 Cups of Ricotta
1 Gallon Homogenized Milk or 3 Bags of whole Milk ( I used 3.25 % Milk )
1 Cup of Heavy Cream
2 TBSP of Coarse Salt ( I used Pink Himalayan Sea Salt )
1/2 Cup of fresh, strained Lemon Juice ( 3 large Lemons will yield you 1/2 of lemon Juice)
2/3 Cup of White Vinegar
3 Bags of Milk at most Supermarket $5.20
Making your own “Ricotta Cheese” is Budget-Friendly
MAKING YOUR RICOTTA CHEESE
Get a large Heavy-bottomed saucepan, heat the milk and the heavy cream to 185 degrees F. On Medium heat. You don’t want to heat your milk on high because the milk could burn. Use a Thermometer to reach the desired temperature. This will take about 25-30 minutes. The thermometer will tell you. Stir milk occasionally with a silicone spatula, until it heats to the desired temperature.
Now, remove your Large Pan from the heat and stir in your 2 TBSP salt, then slowly pour your freshly squeeze lemon juice all over the milk not just in one spot—Do this first. Then stir gently for 1-2 minutes to encourage the curds to form. Slowly pour in your 2/3 cups of Vinegar. Stir 3-4 times. Leave on the stove to cool down for at least 1 hour. Why do I leave it cool in the whey for l hour? I want the Ricotta cheese to cure in the Lemon, Vinegar and Salt. Most recipes say let it cool for 20-30 minutes. I believe the time is too short. Cheese just like with, Pickles needs time to “Ferment” and mature. So, even leaving your cheese for 1 hour to mature will certainly give you a nicer, cleaner tasting Ricotta Cheese.
Once the hour ( 1 hour ) as passed and the curds have cooled down. Slowly and gentle spoon the curds into the prepared Cheesecloth and bowl as seen in the image below:
I know right now it doesn’t look like much of anything but I promise you—it gets better.
Let your Ricotta Cheese drain for about 1 hour at room temperature before placing it in your glass jar or container for the refrigerator.
Please don’t start panicking and worrying about what other recipes tell you about placing it in the refrigerator while it drains. The fresh lemon juice and the vinegar helps keep your Ricotta cheese fresh during that time and bacteria won’t grow on it. In the old days, or way back during the
housewives often just leave the cheese in the cheesecloth and hang it to drain and dry. It will be fine. You want most of the moisture to come out of the cheese. Placing it in the refrigerator to drain just locks too much moisture in the Ricotta cheese. I personally don’t like too much moisture in the cheese anyway.
As the moisture drains out of it you will find your Ricotta Cheese becomes more crumble—meaning you will see more defined curds.
Now, I found out while making the cheese that once you taste the fresh Ricotta Cheese you will certainly taste that fresh lemony taste coming through. I promise you that once you leave your cheese in the refrigerator overnight and taste it the next day. All the lemony taste will now be gone. You will now be left with a “lovely mellow tasting Ricotta.” The longer it stays in the fridge the better tasting it becomes as it matures.
You can now use your Ricotta Cheese in your Desserts, Savoury dishes like Onion Tarts, your pasta dishes, your Hor’derves. Gourmet salads, Sandwiches and whatever other uses you can come up with. I will leave that in your hands.
DON’T FORGET TO MAKE SUFFICIENT RICOTTA TO GIVE AS GIFTS DURING THE COMING CHRISTMAS HOLIDAY SEASON