Monday, July 8, 2013

Ricotta

Ricotta: a snow white, soft and fresh Italian cheese with a very mild taste. I don't even remember where I got the idea of making it myself, but I haven't regretted it for one moment. I've made it several times now and every time I'm surprised by how deliciously creamy and soft it is. On toast with a bit of oil and salt this stuff is like a slice of heaven.


One of the best things about this recipe is that it is so easy literally anyone could do it. It's so much healthier than what you find in the supermarket and it tastes great. What more can I do to convince you to try?

Ricotta
about 1 cup - adapted from Smitten Kitchen and Epicurious

3 cups whole milk
1 cup whipping or heavy cream
1/2 teaspoon coarse salt
2 tablespoons (white wine) vinegar or 3 tablespoons lemon juice

1. Pour the milk and cream into a large pan and put over medium to high heat. Add the salt and stir occasionally while you wait for the creamy milk to start boiling.
2. Once the milk starts foaming or turns into a rolling boil stare at it for 10-30 seconds then turn off the heat. (You're allowed to stir.)
3. Add the juice or vinegar and stir it in. Take the pan off the heat and set aside, uncovered, for a 2-3 minutes.
4. Place a (cheese) cloth or towel in a sieve over a large bowl. Check if milk has curdled by sticking your finger in: it should come out with little 'lumps' of milk.
5. Pour the curdled milk onto the cloth and leave for about an hour, depending on how thick and 'dry' you want your ricotta to be.


Another thing you must try with ricotta is making several little spreads. They're amazing for a barbecue. Add a bit of oil and some salt and pepper to taste. Then take some herbs you have at hand: parsley, dill, thyme, basil or oregano and stir them into the ricotta (together or in seperate bowls). Serve them with sliced French baguette: everyone will love them!

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