Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Homemade Ricotta Cheese, Cheese Spread, and Roasted Tomato Bruschetta

I know we haven't updated in forever, but things were pretty crazy for us over the past month. Anyway, there will be 3 new recipes in this post because I had a lot of time on my hands last Monday and John had a daytime shift at work. So I was nice and decided to use my day off to make him dinner.

The first one is for Homemade Ricotta Cheese, which we will use for the cheese spread. Homemade ricotta really does taste a lot better than the store-bought kind, and it's very easy and cheap to make.

Also, there are only 2 ingredients! And the only vaguely special equipment you need is cheesecloth!
2 cups of buttermilk
2 quarts of whole milk (or, a half gallon)

First, line a wide colander with the cheesecloth. It should be folded so that it's 4 layers thick, and so that you'll be able to gather up the sides to make a little pouch later.

Next, dump the ingredients into a big pot and start cooking them on high heat. You're going to have to stir often, but you don't need to stir constantly. You should also scrape the bottom to make sure there aren't any curds that'll scorch on the bottom.

As the milk heats, curds will rise and clump up. Once the mixture is steaming hot, stop stirring.

When the mixture reaches 175˚ or 180˚F (if you're using a candy thermometer, which I did), the curds and whey will separate. It'll look like white blobs floating on grayish water. I didn't use the flash for this one, so that the separation could be seen.

Once that happens, turn off the heat and start ladling the curds into the colander, which you should place in the sink for this.

Wait 5 minutes: basically until dripping has slowed, and then gather the edges of the cloth and twist it. I used 2 twist ties tied together to make the edges stay together. Don't squeeze it though! Leave the little bundle in the colander for about another 15 minutes, maybe a bit more. Get rid of the whey.

Untie the cloth and put the ricotta in an airtight container. It'll last for about a week in the fridge.

That's what it looks like, basically, and it's awesome.

Ok, on to the next recipe.

Ricotta Cheese Spread with Herbs

This is really good for making yourself a snack, or for a party. It's cheap and it's waaaaayyyy better than those packaged cheese spreads.

1 cup ricotta cheese
1/2 tsp. garlic powder
3/4 tsp. dried parseley
1/2 tsp. dried basil
1/2 tsp. dried thyme
1/4 tsp. dried sage
dash pepper
dash sea salt

I forgot the garlic powder in the picture, sorry.

Anyway, dump all the ingredients into a medium bowl and mix them. That's it.

Make sure you taste it as you add things so that you can adjust the recipe if you want too!

Recipe #3

Roasted Tomato Bruschetta
Ok, so this recipe is VERY quick and is quite cheap to make as well.

1 small onion, diced
2 tsp. dried parseley
2-3 tbsp. fresh basil
1 clove of garlic, minced
1 16 oz can of roasted and diced tomatoes
dash pepper
dash salt

First strain the tomatoes. I like to use the roasted tomatoes because I think they have more flavor and they taste richer. Anyway, make sure to get most of the liquid out, because you don't want the bruschetta to be watery. Then, dump the tomatoes in a large bowl.

Then, dice the onion, cut or tear up the basil, mince the garlic, dump that all in and add the parseley

Then, mix.

Toast up some slices of a baguette in the oven with some olive oil, spoon the brushetta (and the cheese if you made it) onto the toast and eat!


mahesh said...

Excellent read. I like your style...have a good one!/Nice blog! Keep it up! Cooking Equipment


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