Friday, January 21, 2011

My first homemade cheese....

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!


  1. Very cool! Now you've started my creative juices, I'm wondering if I could make some soft "cheese" from nut milks. Hmmm...

    Oh, and that picture of your omelet is making me hungry.

  2. Actually when I was searching for were vegan ricotta.

  3. That should read the first I found were vegan. Silly blogger and the blackberry don't get along.

  4. Hehe!

    I found a recipe for cashew cheeze. I actually hate the "z" in that, but that's what vegan do. Sigh.

    Anyways, I'm excited to try it out. Here's the link to the recipe:

    I'm going to use my water kefir instead of rejuvelac.

    I didn't mean to hijack your post, I'm just excited!

  5. That's awesome!! I really need to come have you teach me the ways of Kefir.
    Miss you btw.