Have you ever been to a restaurant that offered house made ricotta cheese as an appetizer? Why would you order that, right? Can it really be worth the $12 price tag when you can get a 16 oz. tub at Trader Joe’s for $2.99? Yes, friend. Yes. I promise you, yes. I order it at one of our favorite places in Laguna Beach. It’s served alongside a honeycomb and always makes me feel super fancy. It’s something about house made anything that will make you feel that way. I’m a sucker for the chipotle ketchup, house made crackers, sausage ground and stuffed in the back of the house, or butter that was just churned up that morning by the prep cook. Homemade cheese makes me giddy as well…in a restaurant and especially in my own kitchen. I love when something sounds daunting when in reality, it’s a breeze.
Homemade ricotta cheese is the easiest thing you’ll ever make.
Bring milk and cream to a light boil.
Watch milk curdle.
Strain with cheesecloth to separate the curds from the whey (yep, this it where that came from).
You barely cook, but friends and family will think you are a culinary genius. Homemade cheese??!! That’s so impressive! Impressive until everyone finds out how insanely easy it is, then it’s just smart. Why would you buy the grainy, flavorless excuse for ricotta cheese you can get at the store when you can make twice as much, twice as cheap, that tastes
twice, no, let’s say INFINITELY better? You wouldn’t– and you never will again!
This is too easy not to try, and I promise you will find a ton of uses for it after it’s made. You can use it in lasagna, pancakes, gnocchi….hmmm…I feel another blog coming on. My favorite use for it is to smear it on a crostini and call it a day. See ya, butter. There’s a new girl in town and her name is Ricotta. She’ll be slathered on my toast until every last creamy bit is gone. And then I’ll make some more. Why not? It’s too easy and too delicious not to!
Homemade Ricotta Cheese
4 cups whole milk
2 cups heavy cream
2 tablespoons white wine vinegar (this is NOT white “cooking” wine)
kosher salt, to taste, about 1 teaspoon
- Combine milk, cream and salt together and bring to a gentle boil in a heavy enamel pot, like Le Creuset.
- Once boiling, remove from the heat and stir in white wine vinegar. Let sit untouched for 2 minutes or so until it begins to curdle.
- Cover a fine mesh sieve with two layers of cheesecloth and set over a bowl. Pour curdled mixture into cheesecloth and let stand for 25 minutes until the curds and whey have been separated and most of the liquid has drained into the bowl. What remains in the cheesecloth is your ricotta!
- Pat yourself on the back and find the nearest crostini, lasagna recipe, or whatever!
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