So I decided I would make manicotti for dinner tonight (easy, not super cheap, but totally yummy) and then decided what the heck I'll make the ricotta myself!
So I searched the interwebs and found a great little "how to" for whole milk ricotta post. I did have amazing success with this, but I was a tiny bit unsure of the "lemony" flavor, so I went looking and found this post that suggested regular white vinegar instead for a more neutral flavor.
The procedure is of course the same. Ratio of milk to acid is also the same:
1cup of whole milk (I have an awesome source for unpasteurized milk so that is what I used.)
1T acid (lemon juice or distilled white vinegar)
1/4t salt (I prefer kosher)
Mix salt and milk in a heavy bottom sauce pan and bring to just below a boil. I think about 180 is perfect as any hotter and you risk scorching the milk. And having been a barista I know just how nasty scorch milk tastes and smells.
When the milk is at temp, at the acid and gently mix it in then STOP STIRRING! I made the mistake of stirring too hard the first batch and my curds never formed. Set the pan off the heat and walk away for about 5-10 minutes to let the curds form.
Pour the whole thing into a strainer lined with a double layer of cheese cloth and let it drain over a bowl.
The longer you drain the more dense and dry the curds will be. (if you have a shallow ladle you can spoon out the majority of the curds and reduce the amount of draining necessary.)
Here's a picture of the curds draining:
The batch I made with lemon juice I mixed with some dill, salt, pepper, and garlic and put in an omelet for breakfast!
I have to say I was amazed at how well it melted and how yummy this was! Super creamy a bit tart/tangy from the lemon and just cheesy enough to complement the eggs perfectly. Of course I had to add couple of shots of hot sauce for "garnish".
The 2nd batch (made with the vinegar) I mixed with an egg, some cream, Italian seasoning, and sausage and stuffed in the manicotti. Hopefully the kids will enjoy it for dinner tonight!
5 months ago