So I have seen this posts on-line with people making their ricotta at home and it seemed extremely easy, but then I investigated further and saw that the easy procedure (add lemon to almost boiling milk) is not the proper way of doing ricotta. It apparently delivers a product that is remarkably similar to ricotta, but is not quite the same. So I kept investigating, and I found that to make proper ricotta you first have to make some other cheese using rennet and then use the left over whey to produce your ricotta.
I studied further and I figured that the easiest cheese to make is primo sale, a fresh cheese similar in flavor to queso blanco. So I set out and collected all of my ingredients and prepared my first cheese. It turned pretty well!
- 2 quart organic whole milk
- 1/2 cup yogurt
- 1/2 tablespoon rennet
- First I put my organic milk in a pot with some yogurt. I read that the addition of the yogurt helps the milk to coagulate as it increases the bacteria and yeasts in the milk. I left it out of the fridge for a while, between 1 and 2 hours. Then I warmed the milk up to 96-98F and added the rennet and a pinch of salt. I found the rennet at whole food after going from coop to coop to see if they had any, one coop had rennet but they were out of stock, the other didn't. If you want to do cheese I'd suggest you go to whole food directly and save yourself same time.
- I then mixed everything very well and put the covered pan in the sink filled with warm water (about 105F) and let it stand for about an hour. At that point I took the pan out of the water and checked the milk. The milk had miraculously coagulated. The whole thing had the consistency of greek yogurt.
- I then used a whip to break the coagulated milk into crumbs the size of a peanut. Finally, I poured the mixture in a colander lined with a cheese cloth. I placed the colander over a pot to save the whey to make ricotta and put a little weight on the cheese to help all the whey get out. After a couple of hours, I salted the cheese, wrapped it in plastic and put it in the fridge.
- This cheese is mild in flavor and goes well on salads, particularly with arugula, with tomatoes or in pretty much anything that work with queso blanco or possibly paneer.
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