Ricotta cheese is good. You can stuff pasta with it, bake a ricotta pie, add it to mashed potatoes, top your pizza, pair it with fresh fruit, ricotta on top of figs and drizzled it with honey is out-of-this-world, eat it right out of the container, canoli, the list could go on and on… I have always liked ricotta cheese with its mild taste and smooth texture make it easy to incorporate into many meals.
Prior to yesterday the thought of making cheese had not really crossed my mind. Cheese was one of the items you buy at the grocery store, not whip up in your kitchen. Let me tell you friends, I will never buy ricotta again! The difference in taste and texture of the homemade in comparison to store-bought is basically indescribable. The best way I can explain the difference would be like asking you if you would rather eat a hamburger steak or filet mignon! Really, it is that good. While the cheese was straining in a cheesecloth lined colander on the counter, I took a spoon and had a small sample. That was all it took, I knew I had found something good, a new favorite food (I have many favorites) I am hooked! Homemade ricotta cheese is fantastic!
One day, very soon, I will attempt to make fresh mozzarella . A while back I posted a recipe for Caprese, which is my first choice of appetizers, hands down. This was also the winning entry for September’s recipe contest at C & L Farms, located in Alva, FL. I absolutely love this salad as it is, and I can only imagine how much better it would be with homemade cheese! I am so looking forward to this 🙂 I will definitely let you know how it turns out.
Back to the ricotta, as you will see below this recipe only calls for four (4) ingredients and it is super easy, you don’t even need a thermometer!
- 4 cups of whole milk
- 2 cups of heavy cream
- 1 generous teaspoon of sea salt
- 3 generous Tablespoons White Wine Vinager
- Line a sieve or colander with 2 layers of dampened cheesecloth. Put the colander over a large bowl.
- Pour the milk and cream into a stainless-steel or enameled pot. Stir in the salt. Bring to a full boil over medium heat, stirring occasionally. Turn off the heat and stir in the vinegar. Allow the mixture to stand for 1 minute until is curdles. It will separate into thick parts (the curds) and the milky parts (the whey).
- Pour mixture into the cheesecloth-lined sieve and allow it to drain into the bowl at room temperature for about 25 minutes. The longer you allow the mixture to drain, the thicker the ricotta.
- Transfer the ricotta to a bowl, discarding the cheesecloth and the liquid in the large bowl.
- Use immediately or cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate. The cheese will keep refrigerated for 4 to 5 days.
Do yourself a favor and make a batch of this deliciousness! I would love to hear what recipes you use that call for ricotta cheese.
The picture at the top and bottom of this page is:
1 baguette sliced and put under the broiler until crisped on the top, rub with a clove of mashed garlic (the garlic catches on the crispy bread) add a dollop of ricotta cheese, drizzle with extra virgin olive oil, sea salt & cracked black pepper to taste and garnish with fresh rosemary! Good Vittles friends 🙂 enjoy
This recipe has been adapted from Barefoot Contessa, 2010