Homemade Ricotta, or The One Ingredient to Completely Turn Out Your Brunch

By 300 Sandwiches

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ricottaHIGoodness, why didn’t we do make our own damn ricotta earlier?

“And we call ourselves foodies,” E said. “We should be ashamed of ourselves.”

For Sunday brunch, I was craving a savory waffle sandwich some sort of greens, vegetables and cheese. I pulled the waffle machine down from the shelf over the refrigerator. “Do we have any ricotta?” E asked. ¬†And then he hit the Internet.

Four ingredients. Five steps. Fifteen minutes. That’s what goes into making ricotta cheese. Flossing my teeth can be more complex than that. E and I walked to the local gourmet shop for groceries, including a cheese cloth, and got to work.

While I made the waffles, E artfully produced a peach-sized ball of wet, crumbly cheese, and slid it underneath my nose. “Taste that immediately.” I took a bite. Sweet like custard, tart like buttermilk, and better than any artisanal, small batch, organic, or imported from southern Italy cheese I’ve spent money on.

Oh my god.

E and I stood over the mound of ricotta, scooping forkfuls of it onto savory rosemary waffles with a drizzle of honey. We devoured the entire small batch of ricotta before I could use it for sandwiches. “I’m making more,” E said.

Most recipes call for lemon juice or vinegar to give it a tang, but I think buttermilk in this recipe is what made ours so delicious. Do this before brunch and you’ll never eat alone again. Friends will be at your house every damn day looking for your homemade cheese.

4 cups whole milk
1 cup buttermilk
1/3 cup heavy cream
Coarse salt

*You’ll need a cheesecloth and a sieve.

Lay cheesecloth over a sieve. Pour milk, buttermilk and heavy cream into large pot, and bring to boil over medium high heat. When temperature reaches about 185 degrees, curds will start to separate from the whey. As curds start to form, scrape out curds into cheesecloth with a slotted spoon. Sprinkle salt onto curds with each spoonful. When done, tie the ends of the cheesecloth together and let drain in cheesecloth for about 5 minutes (you can hang the cloth from the sink faucet or some other high surface). Sprinkle additional salt if desired, or cinnamon, or eat alone. Devour with friends with fruit, on toast or crostini or with eggs, or store in the refrigerator. Will keep for a day or two.

These people know their ricotta cheese.

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