Tuesday, January 6, 2009

You Can DOoo It.....Ricotta that is!!

Well who doesn't like cheese? I love the stuff, put it on a bumper and I would eat it bumper and all!! One of my favorite cheeses is Ricotta! Why you ask, well because it is a very versatile cheese it can be used in savory or sweet applications. I also like the texture some where between cottage cheese and cream cheese. Be it in a Lasagna or stuffed into a Ravioli I love me some Ricotta in my home made marinara........mmmmmm.... great it's 7 in the morning and I am already making myself hungry!!

So in honor of my favorite cheese I found instructions on how to make it your self at home!! Yes I said YOU can make your own Ricotta!! Alright lets' get to the good stuff and give you the skinny on how to wow your friends with your own homemade Ricotta!!

What you will need:

8 cups of whole milk
1 tsp salt
3 tbs fresh lemon juice

Makes: 1.5 cups

Execution:



1. Line a medium colander with for layers of cheesecloth. Set the cheesecloth-lined colander in the sink. You can purchase cheesecloth at your local grocery store, I bought some at Fry's.
2. Bring the whole milk and salt to a simmer in a large, heavy-duty saucepan over medium heat.
3. Stir in the fresh lemon juice. Reduce heat to a simmer. Simmer the milk mixture gently until curds form, usually one to two minutes.
4. Using a slotted spoon or mesh skimmer, transfer the curds to the prepared colander. Let them drain for only a minute.
5. Transfer the ricotta to a medium bowl. It can be served right away, or covered and chilled for up to two days.

Really 5 steps to have my own home made ricotta? That is just awesome! Ok so now you have all this ricotta lyin around your house.....what to do ....what to do......oh I know have a dinner party and WOW your guest with your mad Ricotta making skills!!! Try this recipe out and have your friends do a double take and beg to be invited to your house for dinner again!!!


Oh this little gem is from one of my most favorite mags, Bon Appetit!!





Appetizer: Figs and Onion Bruschetta (umm helllo cheese and bread.....)

Makes: 8

Ingredients:



Figs:

.5 cup dried black Mission figs, stemmed, halved (I have seen fresh figs at Costco, dried I would think my local AJ's would have them or Whole Foods)
1 cup boiling water
3/4 C dry red wine
2 tbs sugar
1 small bay leaf
1/8 tsp coarse kosher salt (you can buy this at Frys or Penzeys)
1 tsp red wine vinegar

Onion:

1.5 tsp butter
1.5 tsp extra virgin olive oil
1 medium red onion, halved through core, cut lengthwise into .5" strips (take a whole onion, cut in half where the root knob thing is, once you have cut it in half take one half and with the root end pointing to the left start slicing slowly and care fully)
2 tbs red wine vinegar
.5 tsp sugar
pinch of coarse kosher salt

Ricotta:

1 cup fresh ricotta cheese (YES THE ONE THAT YOU MADE, this is where the double take comes in from your friends!!)
1 tbs extra-virgin olive oil plus additional for drizzling
1 tsp heavy whipping cream
pinch coarse kosher salt
8 1-inch-thick slices ciabatta bread (about 4.5x2 inches) (Cibatta is that big square bread)
1/4 c grated Parmesan cheese
2 tbs chopped fresh oregano


Execution:

Figs:
  • Place figs in small bowl. Pour 1c boiling water over; let soak 45 minutes
  • Drain figs; place in a small saucepan.
  • Add wine and next 3 ingredients from above; bring to a boil, stirring to dissolve sugar.
  • Reduce heat to medium once sugar has dissolved (you will know sugar is dissolved when you don't feel that graininess when stirring)
  • Simmer until figs are tender and liquid is syrupy, stirring occasionally, about 20 minutes. Add vinegar and cook 1 minute longer. Remove pan from heat and cool.
Onions:

  • Melt butter with oil in medium skillet over medium high heat. Add onion; saute until beginning to soften and brown stirring occasionally, about 4 minutes.
  • Reduce heat to low; add vinegar and sugar, then sprinkle with coarse salt and pepper.
  • Stir until vinegar has almost evaporated about 1 minute.


Ricotta:

  • Whisk ricotta, 1 tbs oil, and cream in a medium bowl until fluffy.
  • Season with coarse salt and pepper.
  • Preheat broiler
  • Drizzle Cibatta with some olive oil and sprinkle with coarse salt & pepper.
  • Broil bread on both sides until toasted (ok don't walk away from the bread in the broiler it will brown VERY quickly...this means DON'T answer the phone, answer your kids questions, let the dog out etc...because your bread will burn!!!)
  • Transfer to serving plate


Assembly:

Spread 2 tbs ricotta mixture on each bread slice.
Spoon glazed figs with some syrup over, top with onion mixture.
Sprinkle with Parmesan and oregano
Drizzle with oil and serve immediately (as for the oil, I would go to your local AJ's or Whole Foods and pick up some Meyer Lemon flavored olive oil, I think a little hint of citrus would help bring out the flavor in the Ricotta!!)


Hehhehe your friends are going to love you!! To keep that ricotta theme going you could always make some homemade lasagna. No time you say, well then that is when you visit my little shop, A Thyme To Bee Comforted. What do you know I have lasagna in there, yes yes I know you didn't make it....don't worry I won't tell!! Your friends won't know either just plate it and throw out the packaging evidence!!

Well I hope that you try your hand at making your own Ricotta and try the recipe above!! If you do, come and post and let us know how it all went!! Well here ends another tip and tricks segment, I hope that you enjoyed! Be safe! Be Happy!!



**Hugs

Angelica

3 comments:

CT said...

"(ok don't walk away from the bread in the broiler it will brown VERY quickly...this means DON'T answer the phone, answer your kids questions, let the dog out etc...because your bread will burn!!!)"...and your smoke detector will go off so all your neighbors will know...she's broiling again! Ha Ha Ha...it always happens to me! - CT

A Thyme To Bee Comforted said...

lol, been there done that one too!! My kids are like what the heck are youd doing in the kitchen.....ummm I forgot about the bread ok, so sue me...hehehehe

wunderbug said...

that's awesome - i'm just swinging by from etsy to see your blog - this recipe sound delicious! i'm going to have to try it out sometime (very) soon!