Thursday, April 21, 2011

Homemade Ricotta Cheese Recipe with all Local Ingredients

Finished ricotta in Cheesecloth 
Ricotta is a basic cheese that you can use for many different meals.  It is easy and simple to make. There are a number of different recipes available to make ricotta but this is my favorite.   It is delicious and you will be happy with the results. The most important thing is not to use ultra-pasteurized milk since it will not separate into curds. At my house, we have found that Winder Farm milk and buttermilk make a really nice curd and great tasting ricotta. We use it to make ravioli, pizza, gnuddi, and bruschetta so we always make sure to have some on-hand. You can also freeze it for use later.

Homemade Ricotta Cheese
1 gallon 2% reduced-fat milk (Winder Farms)*
5 cups low-fat butter milk (Winder Farms)
1/2 teaspoon sea salt (Redmond Real Salt)

  1. Line a colander with a couple layers of cheese cloth and place the  colander in a larger bowl.  Set aside
  2. Combine milk and buttermilk in a large, heavy stockpot.  Attach a candy thermometer to the edge of pan and make sure the end is immersed in the mixture.  Cook over medium-high heat until candy thermometer registers 170° (about 20 minutes), gently stirring occasionally.  As soon as milk mixture reaches 170°, stop stirring (whey and curds will start to separate at this point).   Continue to cook, without stirring, until thermometer registers 190°.  (Be sure not to stir, or curds that have formed will break apart.) Immediately remove pan from heat. (Bottom of pan may be slightly scorched.)
  3. Using a slotted spoon, gently spoon curds into cheesecloth-lined colander. (Discard whey or reserve for bread and granola making.) Drain over bowl for 5 minutes. You can either gather the edges of cheesecloth, tie it shut, and hang it from the kitchen faucet or squeeze the extra whey out with your hands. Sprinkle with salt and toss gently with fork to combine. Cool to room temperature. Yield: About 3 cups 
*Note: Do not use ultrapasteurized (UP) milk since the protein structure is damaged and enzymes are destroyed during the high heat used to make this long shelf-life product.

Nutrition Facts: 
Serving size: 1/4 cup
Calories: 115    Fat: 6.1g    Protein: 11.5g    Carbohydrates: 3.5g  Fiber: 0g   Cholesterol: 23mg  Iron: 0mg   Sodium 191mg  Calcium: 250mg
adapted from Cooking Light

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