an afternoon in the kitchen
i had fallen ill from exposure. which i loved saying, because it seemed very dramatic. very 1850s. but yesterday, i did indeed spend too many hours outside, in the steady rain. with soaked boots and soaked socks.
so today, my fellow farmers took a dear amount of pity and told me to stay indoors and tend to the dairy processing.
and i obliged. happily. i started the day milking and then turned my gains into butter and ricotta.
i thought today, i'd start out that backcountry How To with a quick lesson on ricotta.
ricotta is quite simple. don't be intimidated by it just because its a cheese. my advice is to just go for it and you will always learn from your past mistakes.
*this is technically a queso blanco and not a ricotta, but i don't have a mozzarella starter so that is for another day.
you'll need a thermometer, vinegar, salt, milk, cheese cloth, herbs, and a colander.
1. heat skimmed milk on a double broiler to 185F (about 30 minutes)
2. when milk reaches temperature turn off heat and add 1 1/2 teaspoons salt and 1/3 cup vinegar to each gallon of milk.
3. stir very gently for 30 seconds.
4. place mixture with lid on away from everything. you don't want the ricotta to be disturbed while it is inoculating.
5. allow mixture to sit. curds & whey will separate. this takes about 2 hours.
6. after 2 hours of sitting. strain the curds & whey through a cheese cloth & colander.
7. leave ricotta with a bit of whey to keep it moist in the jars.
8. mix in additional salt and fresh herbs to taste (i use s&p, chives, dill, parsley, etc..).
9. enjoy! it will be good for probably up to a week. so eat it up. love it. repeat and tweak as you see fit.
Posted by kate at 6:31 PM