Tuesday, June 9, 2009

Spaghetti Phooey and Homemade Ricotta

Okay I took this picture today at lunch. My first thought was, “why, WHY??? Do people see spaghetti as such kid friendly food??” Yes they love it, but man, she had to go for a bath after and I had to scrub her little seat. Phooey I say. However, it reminded me that I still had something to share with you guys.

A while back I made stuffed Flat Iron and I stuffed it with Ricotta I had made. My friend Donna (well, I really don’t know her but I suspect if I did we would be friends) over at http://mytastytreasures.blogspot.com/ asked if I would be sharing how to make the ricotta. It took me a while (far longer than the ricotta will take you, but I am finally getting to it. Besides the joy of doing it yourself the cool part about making ricotta for scratch is that you control the consistency. For the ricotta I stuffed the beef with I let it hang a bit longer so it was very dry. I thought that way, It would be less likely to ooze out of the meat, and I was right. You can also add a sundry of herbs before hanging or some sugar (makes a lovely dessert mixed with berries…yumm). Really the options are limitless.

Note: This recipe came from Ricki Carroll and I got it in a cheese making class I took.

1 gallon milk
1 tsp citric acid (you can get at Compleat Gourmet, and I am sure many other places)
1 tsp salt (I use a little more, but I am a salt freak)

Pour milk into pot (can not be aluminum or cast iron) add citric acid and salt.

Heat the milk to 195 (I used a meat thermometer and it worked great). Stir often.

When curds and whey separate, take off heat and let set 5 minutes. You will know they have separated when the mixture seems a bit chunky and if you take a spoon and very gently stir you can see a separation of white solid (curd) and a yellowish liquid (whey).

Line a colander with cheese clothe or butter muslin and gently ladle the curds into the cloth. I have to say, I very, very slowly poured what was in the pot into the lined colander but you have to be careful and slow so that the mixture is “caught” by the cloth.

Tie the cloth to form a bag and hang and let drain for ½ hour or more depending on how thick you want it.

It will keep in the fridge up to 2 weeks or can be frozen.

Also note, you can save the whey, and use it to soak rice in (and many other things I am sure) and it give the rice a really rich flavor.


Chef E said...

I have friends who make their own cheese, and yet I have not done it! Greek Yogurt yes, but no cheese...that kid is so darn cute, and don't we all have those kinds of photos? Naked sink photos too, or baby booty shots, lol, if I was there I would have cleaned'em up for ya!!!

When there is a mess; there usually was some fun!

Donna-FFW said...

Thanks for posting this.. I will have to try this as I never made my own!! Now to find the citric acid.

Look at that cutie in the seat.. adorable.

Cate said...

love this post, vanessa. first of all, yes, i have no idea why they call spaghetti a kid-friendly food. i think it must be the people who make stain stick.

i've been wanting to make ricotta for months now, and have been forgetting when i have enough time. but, now, i'm officially inspired by you.

Fearless Kitchen said...

I think spaghetti is considered "kid friendly" BECAUSE of the mess. Kids love to make a mess, it's fun for them.

I haven't gotten around to making my own ricotta yet. I keep meaning to, but I suspect my kitchen is not quite sanitary enough for the job...

Reeni♥ said...

Your so awesome for making your own Ricotta! I bet it was absolutely delicious!! How cute is that picture? AWW.

zerrin said...

I love the photo of that little cute guy. You are a very altruistic mom. And thanks for that cheese recipe. I love to try things from scratch.I also published something with goat cheese in my blog today.

Kristen said...

What a wonderful picture! So cute! Thanks for sharing the cheese recipe too :o)

girlichef said...

Gorgeous!! I love homemade cheese of any kind! And spaghetti food is kid food cuz they have too much fun with it :D (so cute!!)

bellalately said...

LOL! Great pic. Mm..mmm..good...sketti!

Frieda said...

Thanks for the ricotta cheese recipe! I will let you know how it goes once its made!

Chris said...

Great pic! I have one of Trevor (now 9, going on 10) when he was just 1 or so. This pic brought back soooooo many memories.

Megan said...


Two quick questions. First off, I've always avoided trying recipes that require cheese cloth because I wasn't sure if I could find it at the regular grocery store (okay, and I'm a bit lazy), but this looks too good to pass up. I love ricotta but thing the Sargento version is no good! Can I find cheese cloth at the grocery store or somewhere else in town? Second, will this work with reduced-fat milk? Thanks!

Megan said...

Thanks for the Ricotta help! Can't wait to give it a try.