Thursday Night Nicoise Salad

Thursday Night Nicoise Salad
Allow all of your salad stars to shine on their own. Dress each component of your salad individually and pile onto a platter. Simple food is just so darn pretty. Make something like this whatever you have on hand!

Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Homemade Ricotta

You will never buy it again.

1/2 gallon of whole milk (64 oz. or 8 cups) (seriously, don't use low fat)
1 quart of cream (32 oz. or 4 cups) (heavy cream or whipping cream) (mmmmmmm)
2 teaspoons of kosher salt (I use Morton)
6 tablespoons of either plain vinegar, white wine vinegar, white balsamic vinegar or freshly squeezed lemon juice

Pour the milk and cream into a nice large, heavy non-reactive pot. Stir in the salt. Bring to a boil. When this happens, the liquid will become foamy and begin to swell and rise all at once really quickly, so don't walk away, ok? Add the vinegar. Remove from the heat. Stir. Allow it to sit without being bothered for about 20 minutes or so. You can gently stir it to see the curds forming. It is so cool. OK. Now, carefully pour the mixture into a cheesecloth lined mesh sieve. I do this in my sink because I don't know of any use for the liquid whey that is left behind, so I just let it go down the drain rather than catching it in a bowl. Let the cheese drain for 15 to 30 minutes, depending upon how you like it. The less draining time, the more moist the cheese. It is delicious either way. The more draining time, the more dense and dry the cheese will become. It is sooooooo creamy and delightful. Forget that grainy, disgusting stuff they sell in the grocery stores. It's just awful. The only delicious ricotta out there, that I am aware of anyway, is Chellino brand. It's wonderful, creamy and light also. But, for small, wonderful batches in your own kitchen, make some tonight. You will be amazed at the flavor, the fun and the ease of preparation. Eat right away or refrigerate to use within a few days. Oh, almost forgot . . . this makes about 4 cups.

Ideas for how to use your ricotta:

~ in a vegetable torte ~
~ in a frittata ~
~ spread onto chewy and fresh ciabatta bread and drizzled with olive oil ~
~ on homemade crostini with cooked greens, red pepper flakes & olive oil ~
~ by the spoonful when it's still warm, omg ~
~ by the spoonful, straight from the fridge ~
~ scooped onto a bowl of pasta with marinara sauce & sprinkled with grated cheese ~
~ spooned onto a salad of arugula, roasted tomatoes and kalamata olives ~
~ in lasagna, of course, my friends ~
~ sweetened with powdered sugar, enhanced with candied fruit and stuffed into cannoli shells ~
~ spread onto a delicious sandwich of grilled vegetables ~
~ added to a sandwich of Italian salumi, like mortadella, sopressata or coppa
~ with lemon zest, cooked broccoli and a drizzle of olive oil, on garlic rubbed bruschetta ~

Ricotta for everyone! Make it. Your friends will think you're a culinary genius. LOL......... and, I'm all about making you look like a cheese rock star.


With love, by the whey,

Katie

KATIE'S PASSION KITCHEN

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From here, you can continue scrolling down to check out some of my favorite dishes and KPK highlights.

For more posts (articles), recipes, stories and pictures, you can scroll up (in the right column under "What You Missed") and click on 2008, 2009 2010, 2011, 2012 or 2013. As of June, 2013, there are are total of 139 posts in KPK. You can spend more time here when you know where to look, right?! Another way to enjoy my kitchen is to click on any items of interest in the section entitled "Passion Posts", also up above in the right column.

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