Homemade Ricotta+Russian Dolls

I realize the aforementioned title is a strange contrast in genre. I was going to call this post “Homemade Ricotta+ my Sopranos addiction and Red Wine Lips” but WordPress wouldn’t let me. Probably because it was too long a title, but more likely, it was just straight up un-classy. *sigh, real life sometimes is.

So here’s my opportunity to show you the beautiful Russian Doll collection i recently inherited from my godmother.

They are so intricate and lovely and inspired me to make something artisanal. So thus began my curdled journey.   I MADE CHEESE and I feel like i have been hoodwinked for years thinking it was impossible. Ladies and gents, the impossible has been made possible. and the possible is salty creamy cheese.

What do cool kids do on a Saturday night? They stay home and make cheese. It’s true. I read it on the Twitters.

The secret to cheese making is temperature…and keeping calm.  NOT panicking and second guessing oneself and being impatient and tasting lava-hot curds before they were ready. Learn from my mistakes, people.

You need milk, cream, vinegar, cheesecloth and a thermometer. That’s it.

For the milk DO NOT USE ULTRA-PASTEURIZED. Get regular pasteurized. This is important because of cultures, proteins, and other science words…

Let’s begin…

You need a thermometer that has been calibrated in ICE WATER. Make sure it reads a cool 32 degrees. Yay for accuracy.

In a stock pot, pour ONE GALLON WHOLE MILK and ONE PINT CREAM. On medium heat, bring to simmer stirring often to avoid scorching. Stirring is most important as the milk temp increases. You don’t have to be obsessive. This isn’t risotto. But don’t leave to paint your nails either. Kapeesh?

Use your thermometer to check the temp. WE WANT TO HEAT THE MILK TO 190 DEGREES!

that is a pretty serious boil. So, at 185 or so, cut the flame, the milk will still hold heat.

MEASURE 1/3 a cup of VINEGAR. pour into milk, give it a quick swirl then LEAVE IT ALONE.

Let the milk sit and curdle. You will see the milk fats separate from the whey. this is good. You guys are killin it. 

After about 20 minutes, pour the curds into a colander lined with TWO LAYERS OF CHEESECLOTH.

I did this OVER a bowl so i could keep my whey. I made bread with it afterwards. 🙂

Sprinkle salt on curds, make sure to get even distribution. Let drain wholly.

If you want a “creamier” cheese, after the curds cool you can mix in a little more cream.

You can add herbs, garlic, honey, what have you! put it in pasta, lasagna, pizza, sandwiches, omelets, on bread with good olive oil.

Ricotta cheese. Made by you. Eaten by Me. #iwish

let me know how it goes, or if you have any questions!

Go forth and CURDLE, my friends!





3 thoughts on “Homemade Ricotta+Russian Dolls

  1. Ahhhhhhhhhhrhrhghghghgh!!! (Read: I miss you, and selfishly wish you were here to make frickin’ homemade cheese! This looks deliciously easy, so prepare thyself for ricotta dishes coming outta this kitchen! You’re totally welcome to come over and partake. I’ll even vacuum the living room and put out the nice napkins.) Luv.

  2. I just made ricotta for the first time, too and blogged about it over at Small World Supper Club. I was shocked at how easy it was! Although, I did have a “tense” moment re: boiling and bubbling – so thanks for the heads up on turning off the stove. I’ll try that next time.

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