Do you see a milk theme in my last couple of posts? Yes, well, I don't remember the exact details but I had a surplus of milk back in the spring and tried a bunch of new recipes to use it up. I have held back until now because the recipes and pictures were being published. Well, finally that has happened and they are mine again and I can share as I wish.
Ricotta has way fewer calories than cream cheese. No guilt enjoying this cheesy spread!
I posted a few years ago about making ricotta cheese at home. Nothing could be easier and I thought a refresher would be in order. One thing I have learned over time is that if you strain your milk vinegar mixture and get a lot of whey and it appears to be very milky then simply add more vinegar and let it sit longer. The curds will come but the milk may need more acid.
Homemade ricotta is fresher and half the price of the ricotta I can buy at my grocery stores. I always make it now but one does need to plan ahead.
Homemade Ricotta Cheese
I like my curds dry so I let it strain overnight in the refrigerator. Planning ahead is required.
8 c. whole milk
2 tbsp. white vinegar
Bring the milk to just scalding temperature and turn off the heat. You can tell when it has reached scalding because there will be little bubbles in the milk around the inside of the pot.
Stir in vinegar. Put lid on and let sit for an hour. Carefully strain the clotted curds through a cheesecloth-lined strainer.
8 oz. fresh ricotta
fresh herbs such as rosemary or oregano
sea salt, to taste
In a small ovenproof skillet, heat enough olive oil to coat the bottom over medium heat. Add a few cloves of sliced garlic and cook until fragrant and just beginning to color, then immediately top with a layer of ricotta about an inch thick. Drizzle generously with olive oil. Bake in a 375 F oven until bubbling on top, about 20 minutes. Top with finely chopped herbs and sea salt. Serve immediately with toasted baguette slices. (Adapted from Bon Appetit)