Well, so far, we’ve not been impacted by the tropical systems. However, tropical storm Grace appears to be heading in our direction. It’s still a long way away and will hopefully fizzle out like the previous systems. Just in case, I thought I’d add to our hurricane meals. This time, it’ll be lasagna.
Today, I made the ricotta cheese to use in the lasagna, and the meat sauce. Even though I’ve blogged about it before, I thought I’d do a posting of making ricotta cheese. It’s unbelievably easy to do, and is far superior to what you can buy in the store. In fact, I think that the commercial ricotta cheese is awful!
Only four ingredients are used in the making of ricotta cheese: Whole milk, heavy cream, Kosher salt, and white wine vinegar.
I poured the milk and cream into a 3-quart stainless-steel pan, and stirred in the salt.
Occasionally, I discarded the whey that drained into the bowl. The longer the mixture drains, the thicker it becomes. I tend to prefer my ricotta on the thicker side, so after 25 minutes, I gathered the cheesecloth up into a bundle and pressed more liquid out of the curds.
4 cups whole milk
2 cups heavy cream
1 teaspoon Kosher salt
3 Tablespoons white wine vinegar
Place a large strainer over a deep bowl. Dampen 2 layers of cheesecloth with water and line the strainer with the cheesecloth.
Pour the milk and cream into a stainless-steel or enameled pot such as Le Creuset. Stir in the salt. Bring to a full boil over medium heat, stirring occasionally. Turn off the heat and stir in the vinegar. Allow the mixture to stand for 1 minute until it curdles. It will separate into thick parts (the curds) and milky parts (the whey).
Pour the mixture into the cheesecloth-lined strainer and allow it to drain into the bowl at room temperature for 20 to 25 minutes, occasionally discarding the liquid that collects in the bowl. The longer you let the mixture drain, the thicker the ricotta. (If you prefer your ricotta on the thicker side, gather the cheesecloth into a bundle and press additional liquid from the curds.) Transfer the ricotta to a bowl, discarding the cheesecloth and any remaining whey. Use immediately or cover and refrigerate. The ricotta will keep refrigerated for 4 to 5 days. Yield: 2 cups.