Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Easy home-made ricotta

Breakfast: Creamy papaya smoothie

Lunch: Home-made ricotta with olive oil and dipping bread - and lots of it!

Dinner: Sushi!

Making cheese seems like something you'd do only when you've hit 50 and all the kids have left home. It seems somewhat unnecessary when you can go and buy some from the shop around the corner. However, I like a challenge, especially one that I've been told is ridiculously easy, so yesterday I made my own ricotta cheese for the first time.

It is so easy and tastes so good that I won't be buying it again.

You'll need:
2 litres whole milk
3 tbsp apple cider vinegar (or white vinegar)
Rinse a heavy pan in cold water, then pour the milk into it
Put onto a medium-low heat until the milk is almost simmering - there should be a few bubbles and the milk should be starting to form curds
Remove from the heat and stir in the vinegar
Leave to stand with a clean cloth over the pan for 2-3 hours
Line a sieve with cheesecloth and pour the milk into it
Leave to drain for 15 minutes - this removes the whey and leaves the cheese curds in the cloth
Take the cloth and tighten into a ball to squeeze out any extra moisture

You should be able to turn the ball out onto a plate and serve with olive oil and things to dip, or you can break it up and use it in amazing pancakes.

If you save your ricotta until tomorrow, I'll post a great palak paneer recipe that uses what you've just made.

To paraphrase the Life of Brian, blessed are the cheesemakers.

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