Homesteading In The Pacific Northwest

Thursday, March 15, 2012

The Cheese Stands Alone ....

I have a confession to make.  I am addicted to Pinterest.  I love the quick, generous sharing of ideas and interests.  I recently clicked on a pin of a freezer full of carefully stacked and labeled packages ... I was doomed!  I found a whole series of pins about make-ahead and freezer meals and tracked them back to their blogs and web sites.  Now I am in the process of filling my freezer ... not just with healthy, organic, No GMO whole foods, but also with already prepared foods that I can thaw and cook up in hardly any time at all.  Today I'm planning to make lasagna rolls.  The first step is the homemade ricotta cheese.

I made my first batch of ricotta following this recipe at Smitten Kitchen.  It was good, but I didn't care for the strong lemon flavor and it was a little too salty.  Today I altered the recipe a bit ...

4 cups whole, organic milk
1/4 tsp sea salt
2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice

Line a colander with several layers of damp cheesecloth and set it over a large bowl.  Pour the milk into a nonreactive pan (stainless or glass; no aluminum) and stir in the salt.  Heat over medium high to 190 degrees stirring occasionally to keep the milk from scorching.

Remove the pan from the heat and add the lemon juice, stirring once or twice very slowly and very gently. It will look like this as the curds and whey start to separate ...

 Let the pan sit undisturbed for 10 minutes.  Pour the curds and whey into the colander and allow the whey to drain into the bowl for about an hour (save the whey ... it's great for making bread!).

After about an hour it will look like this ...

... and you can transfer it to a container and refrigerate ...

It turned out well, but still with a distinct lemon flavor.  Hmmm ... my eyes focused on my bottle of Garlic Scape infused white wine vinegar ... hmmm ...lemon = acid ... vinegar = acid ... why not?

I made this batch a little richer, replacing 1 cup of the milk with organic half and half.  OMG!  This isn't going into the lasagna ... there won't be enough left ... toasted baguette drizzled with olive oil, Garlic Scape Ricotta, roasted red pepper and Kalamata olives ... heaven!

So much for plans ... I'll make the lasagna next time ...


1 comment:

  1. Wow - looks marvelously delicious - we will sure be trying out your recipe here - thanks!