Recipe: Fast Ricotta Cheese
Making cheese at home may seem like a time and labor-intensive process, but what if you could make a delicious, high-quality cheese in about one hour? According to David Asher, author of The Art of Natural Cheesemaking, you can.
This version of ricotta is made by adding acidity to sweet whey in the form of lemon juice or vinegar, just as in the making of a paneer. A slower and more traditional (and more delicious and better-textured) ricotta can be made by allowing the sweet whey to ferment for a day and develop the acidity it needs to separate its remaining cheese.
Recipe: Fast Ricotta
1 gallon (4L) fresh whey, preferably more
1/4 cup (60mL) vinegar per gallon whey or 1/2 cup (120mL) lemon juice
2-gallon (8L) stainless pot
Ladle or slotted spoon
Large stainless bowl
Between 4 and 8 ounces (100-225g) ricotta per gallon whey
Bring the whey to a boil: Pour the whey into the pot and bring it to a boil over medium-high heat. Don’t worry about stirring the whey – it will not burn on the bottom of the pot. But pay attention to the whey as it gets hot: Once it comes to a boil, it can boil over and cause quite a mess!
Pour in the vinegar or lemon juice as the whey is boiling. Don’t bother stirring it; the boiling whey will mix the acid in thoroughly.
Let the whey come to a full rolling boil again, but only for a moment. The high temperatures help to ensure a full ricotta yield.
Let the whey cool for 5 minutes. Turn off the heat, and let the whey settle. You should begin to see signs of separation: The whey will become clearer and more greenish yellow, and there will be fluffy clouds of ricotta curd that have coagulated out of it. Let the whey cool for 5 minutes to help the ricotta firm up.
Strain the ricotta: Using a ladle or a slotted spoon (depending on the type of whey and the quality of milk, the curds may be easier to harder to strain), scoop up the ricotta that has risen to the top of the pot, and transfer it to a cheesecloth-lined colander perched on the stainless steel bowl.
Let the ricotta drain and cool. Ricotta is best savored while still slightly warm. Once cooled, it should be kept refrigerated.
Attention moldy cheese lovers, this recipe is for you! It’s true, moldy isn’t usually a quality we look for in our food, but when it comes to blue cheese, the mold cultures contribute largely to its unique texture and bold flavor. Try your hand at making an authentic Rindless Blue Cheese using the ingredients and…Read More
Who doesn’t love making memories or recounting old ones? Mulberries have a special power of unlocking memories. Did you pick them as a kid? Picking them now will send you right back to your childhood. If you’ve never picked mulberries before, they very well might be in your own backyard, or your neighbor’s, or your…Read More
With a little bit of fermenting technique, ginger carrots will be your new go-to snack! They are pretty pricey at natural food stores so learning to make your own will surely be worthwhile as long as you can wait the 2 to 4 weeks they take to ferment. Waiting that long really is the hardest…Read More
If you love grilling, you must know that various woods impart delicious smoky flavors to grilled meat, fish, and vegetables. In this excerpt from The New Wildcrafted Cuisine, author and self-described culinary alchemist Pascal Baudar offers foraging tips for finding the best woods and barks to add flavor to anything you toss on the grill…Read More
The term tian simply refers to a dish of thinly sliced vegetables that have been cooked in fat of choice and baked au gratin. This summer vegetable tian is the perfect easy side to showcase the medley of delicious vegetables the summer has to offer. Layered eggplant, zucchini, tomato and red onion, baked ’til tender & crisp is healthy, colorful and…Read More