Friday, August 9, 2013

Lemon Herb Ricotta Salata

Lemon Herb Ricotta Salata















Homemade cheese is easy to make.  A few weeks ago I made a video called Pasta alla Checca where I used my own homemade cheese.  It was my first transforming milk and cream into curds and whey.  Little miss muffet would be proud.  Unfortunately, I didn't record it on film since I wasn't even sure that it would work and video making can be quite tedious.  When it turned out well, my Youtube subscribers started clamoring for a video on the whole cheese making process.  I promised I'd oblige them soon.  Two weeks later, I bring you the homemade ricotta salata I used in that video.  Ricotta salata is a term I use loosely since this is probably not a true ricotta salata which I'm quite sure needs to age a bit more.  But this is my version of a dried ricotta that crumbles nicely into pasta or over grilled toast. 

Lemon Herb Ricotta Salata
Prep time: 5 min
Cook time:10-15 min

Ingredients
  • ½ gallon whole milk
  • 1 cup heavy cream
  • 1 tbsp salt
  • 1 or 2 lemons (to produce ¼ cup of lemon juice)
Ingredients For The Seasoning
  • 1 tbsp. Italian Seasoning
  • 1/8 tsp garlic powder
  • ½ tsp medium coarse sea salt
  • zest of 1 lemon

Video Tutorial




 Instructions
  1. Place a colander on top of a pot large enough for the draining process and line the colander with 4 layers of cheese cloth.
  2. Add the milk and cream to a large heavy bottomed pot, place it over a medium to low heat and stir to combine. 
  3. Add the salt and give it another stir.  
  4. Heat the mixture stirring regularly until it has reached a temperature between 175 and 185 degrees.   
  5. Once you've reached the proper temperature, add the lemon juice, turn off the heat and stir.   
  6. Let it rest for about 10 minutes then ladle the cheese mixture it into the prepared colander so that the whey can drain out.   
  7. Let the cheese sit for about 5 minutes then gather up the cloth, tie it like a bundle, and hang it over and empty pot for further draining.   
  8. After about 2 hours of hanging depending on how dry you want this to be.  Remove the cheese from the cloth and turn it out onto a plate.  Half of this batch I decided to leave plain and simply crumbled into a container for storage.  The other half I tightly wrapped in plastic wrap which really works well to hold the cheese together as you squeeze and mold the cheese into a more uniform log shape.
  9. Refrigerate the cheese log for further solidification.  
  10. Roll the log into the herbs, wrap it in plastic and put it back it the fridge.  

Notes:  The cheese is best after a a few days of ripening for the flavors to develop a little more.When heating the milk and cream, a kitchen thermometer is the safest bet for making cheese but if you happen to be eyeballing it like I did, you'll want to look for the point at which the milk just starts to steam.  You'll also begin to see the top looking a little foamy and bubbles begin to form around the edges of the pan but you don’t want it to come to a boil.

And check out what I did with the unseasoned cheese.  After spreading both sides of my favorite bread gluten free bread with a little butter, I tossed it onto my cast iron grill pan to toast then topped it with a nice pile of that beautiful homemade ricotta, a sprinkle of cinnamon, a handful of blueberries, some walnuts and a generous drizzle of beautifully fragrant blueberry honey I just so happened to pick up a few months back.  Was that just a run on sentence or what?  YUM!

2 comments:

  1. Your recipes always turn out so perfect! Great job, and thanks for sharing.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks Melly. I appreciate the kind words.

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