Happy December! The holiday season is officially among us, and I have been plotting and planning for family functions. As a culinary student, I always strive to bring some excitement to the table. I love making dishes for my family that they normally wouldn't make on their own. That being said, I want to spend more time enjoying their company than in the kitchen. Which causes me to think:
"How do I impress without spending too much time in the kitchen?"
This year, I'll be making Ricotta. I can make it ahead of time and use it in a variety of applications. I think I'll use it on bread for an appetizer and the next morning for pancakes! I love the versatility and would you believe that it is EASY to make from scratch?
My quest to make ricotta came from an obsession with whey. During my externship, I read menus and met cooks who used whey as a braising liquid and as a savory gelee. I asked my chef in the kitchen of Caterina De Medici if we could make ricotta and save the whey to cook with. He told me how easy it was, and was more than willing to try something new in the kitchen.
I used the whey to braise pork..another post for another time.
Ricotta at Home
- 1 Gallon Whole Milk
- 1 Quart Buttermilk
- 1 tsp salt
- Place all of the ingredients in a medium sauce pan, over a medium-low flame.
- Keep an eye on the mix, gently scraping the bottom every once and a while.
- When the liquid is about 170 degrees (you will see the curds and whey separate), remove from heat and allow to sit in pan for 30 minutes- 1 hour.
- Line a strainer with cheese cloth and pour mixture into the cheese cloth.
- Allow to drain and tie cheese cloth.
- Eat immediately or wait a few days!