Saturday, April 4, 2015

To Cheese or not to Cheese, that is NEVER the question!

The latest of my culinary creations in my war against unknown ingredients has been cheese. Now cheese holds a very special part of my heart. In our household a crusty loaf of bread accompanied by a perfectly ripe tomato and  melt in your mouth cheese is the ultimate meal.  Simple yet delicious. Therefore, being able to make our own cheese has been a desire for quite some time. And if I do say so myself, this is one goal I can say I totally and completely conquered! 

Cheese turned out to be easier to make than yogurt. There is only one step that takes careful precision, which of course I completely messed up while attempting to take pictures. However the ricotta still turned out smooth and deliciously creamy. 

I used this blog for my recipe, as always, changing to suit my current mood (and patience level).

Homemade Ricotta Cheese

2L of whole milk
80 ml lemon juice
1tsp salt (Admittedly I forgot to add this, pressures from my Mother and her hatred of salt have subconsciously taken effect).

1. Pour the milk into a pot, placing on the stove. You want to warm the milk until just before the boiling point, around 190 F. Now this is where I messed up...while stood on a chair attempting to take photos, balancing my phone on my shoulder discussing which 90’s American show to next devour on Netflix, my milk boiled. Oops.  No need to worry, my Netflix choice was carefully and correctly made! (3rd Rock from the Sun)
2. Turning off the stove (and removing from the element if you are using an electric stove), add your lemon juice, carefully stirring it in. This is where is starts to go a bit nasty. The lemon juice curdles the milk, helping you may your curds and whey! I spent the rest of my cooking time singing nursery rhymes in my head.

3. While your milk is, well, souring, take a large bowl, place a strainer over it (there should be plenty of space between the bottom of the bowl and the strainer) and then place a cheese cloth over that. 

4. Use a slotted spoon to check that your milk has finished separating into white lumps  (curds) and a yellowish liquid (your whey). When this is done, from 10 - 50 minutes, carefully pour it into the cheese cloth. Mine took about 15 minutes to fully drain, leaving me with a nice, creamy cheese.

This will definitely become a family favourite! Now to make it for my Canadian family...I will pry them from the evil grasp of the processed food industry! Okay, let’s be honest. I won’t. A better goal is for my Grandma to see that I am actually eating what she deems is ‘normal’ food. 

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