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.