Saturday, May 1, 2010

Ricotta Cheese!

I took my first cheesemaking class earlier this week and let me tell you: ricotta is just about the easiest thing I know how to make. Well, maybe after sorbet. But really- you stir for 10 minutes and let it drain for an hour, and voila! Cheese!

1 gallon milk (can be whole, lowfat, skim, etc.)
1/4 C lemon juice
Salt, or additional seasoning

Heat milk to 175 degrees, stirring constantly. Add the lemon juice and continue to stir. The milk will curdle almost instantly and after a few minutes, drain it through cheesecloth set into a colander. Tie the corners of the cheesecloth to form a bundle and then hang it from a hook over a bowl (or the faucet on your sink) to drain. Once most of the whey has drained out (in about an hour), transfer the cheese into a bowl and use your fingers to crumble it a bit. At this point you can add a little salt to taste, or mix in chopped herbs and garlic, depending on how you want to use the cheese. If you're looking for a smoother cheese, you can run it through a food processor, or if you want it to be creamier, you can stir in some heavy cream. Pretty easy!

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