Tuesday, February 12, 2008

Homemade Ricotta

I am really getting into cheese making! Yesterday I tried making ricotta, mmmmm! Even my kitty Frida couldn't resist, seen above. I used the freshly made cheese to make this dish I saw highlighted on Tastespotting last week and just had to try: Three Cheese Polenta Pie. Best of all, with the recipe I was also able to use some of my homemade mozzarella too. Absolutely scrumptious! I served it with zucchini that I stewed in tomatoes and herbs, and it paired very nicely.

So here are a few photos of the ricotta-making process. Above I have heated the milk w/the salt, etc to the proper temperature and let it curdle. Then I ladeled the curds into a cheesecloth-lined strainer.

Above I have tied the cheesecloth around the curds and let it hang from my kitchen sink faucet so the rest of the whey could drain from curds, for about a half hour.

And here I have unwrapped the cheesecloth and have my ricotta! I have been using the book Home Cheese Making: Recipes for 75 Homemade Cheeses by Ricki Carroll. It is possible to make ricotta using the whey leftover from making mozzarella, if you use the whey within 3 three hours of making the mozarrella. Otherwise, ricotta can be made using this recipe or others, such as this very simple recipe.


Ana said...

Homemade Ricotta is absolutely the best! Those who only tried the supermarket version of ricotta (blergh!) have never tasted ricotta at all!
I have been making mine for years, and I have tried both with lemon juice and buttermilk, but for me the recipe with buttermilk is superior, creamier and as delicious as could be!
How did you actually made yours Kathleen?!!
Ohh, and did you like the polenta pie?? It is on my list, I want to make that too! yummy!

Kathleen said...

I am going to try the buttermilk version next, I think. Sounds great! The version I tried this time was the one in the Cheesemaking book; I linked to a blog that posted it (the chicken dumpling blog).

Oh and yes, we loved the polenta pie! It's super delicious!

Anonymous said...

I also have that polenta pie bookmarked to make soon. It just looked super yummy.

I love that you're making your own cheeses... these photos just look delectable.