Saturday, January 27, 2007

Wow, you CAN make cheese at home...

So the other day I was perusing my ever-growing list of food blogs that I read regularly. I drooled over some gorgeous photos, I lamented that I'd never be able to make that recipe, and then I stopped and blinked.

DIY: Homemade Ricotta Cheese.

Whoa, wait a second. Homemade cheese? Surely The Foodie Bride wasn't serious, was she?

I kept reading. She was serious, and the method she presented looked too simple to believe.
A gallon of milk, 5 cups of buttermilk and a little salt?
Just heat it to 170* F while stirring, then stop stirring until it hits 190*?

And as I stood there over the stove, Munchkin at my side, I inadvertently did a Keanu Reeves-esque "Whoa."
Cheese was appearing, and it was gathering fast.

I didn't have any cheesecloth as recommended - and couldn't find any at the store - so I took a moment before we started to line my colander with a double layer of coffee filters. I scooped the cheese from the stockpot into the lined colander and watched the extra whey drip out from the mound of ricotta. Neither of us could believe what we were seeing.

Somehow we managed to let it finish draining before we added some salt and dove in to try a bite.
Whoa. Dude, we totally just made ricotta cheese.

I boiled some water, threw in some cellentani pasta, and chased Munchkin away from the cheese so she didn't eat it all before dinner. When the pasta was done I made a quick sauce of butter, a small splash of pasta water, garlic and herbs. The pasta went into the sauce, I added a nice sprinkle of our homemade ricotta, and served with cheesy garlic bread.

Thank you, Foodie Bride. Our dinner was amazing.


Brilynn said...

I've read about it before, but never tried making my own... it's on the "to-do" list.. yeah, along with a million other things... but I really would like to make my own cheese.

Shawnda said...

I'm glad it turned out so well for you! It looks tasty!

wheresmymind said...

Awww...c'mon...making more complex mac and cheese isn't that tough ;)

Freya said...

Looks yummy! I made some paneer once which took a lot of patience on my part (waiting for the milk and cream to slowly boil) but it did work and it was good fried up with peas and spices!
I definitely want to give the mac and cheese a go with the ricotta!