Saturday, January 26, 2013

Homemade ricotta

I read in the news about 2 billion tonnes of food thrown away globally. What a shame and shock!  and a lot of people died of hunger, this world is crazy!! I always think wasting food is such a sin.we don't even waste a grain of rice. There is an ancient Chinese poem every Chinese kid has to learn  in the elementary school about how to value a simple grain of rice. 
The direct translation into English is:
        A farmer is weeding at noon,
  Sweat is dripping down the field.
  Who knows rice on a dish,
  Every grain is full of hard work?   

and here is Brian's better version: 
        At noon a farmer culls the weeds
        Rice stalks showered by sweaty beads
        Who knows the rice that they consume
        Is only through his arduous deeds?

It's a simple but amazing poem, once you read never forget!
Don't discard the whey after you make the ricotta!
The first time I tried to made ricotta cheese, I just could not get it to curdle. It was really frustrating; then I realized I didn't heat it enough.  The milk and cream need to be boiled, then put in the lemon juice, and the curds form really quickly. Since I mastered the technique, making fresh ricotta has become really easy! Since you make your own ricotta,you don't want to buy ricotta from the store.

start to become curds

  • 1 quarts whole milk
  • 1/2 cup heavy cream
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tbsp fresh lemon juice
  • Special equipment: clean cheesecloth
Line a large sieve with a layer of clean cheesecloth and place it over a large bowl.
Slowly bring milk, cream, and salt to a rolling boil in a 3-quart heavy pot over moderate heat, stirring occasionally to prevent scorching. when the milk mixture become bubbling reduce the heat to low add lemon juice, and simmer, stirring constantly, until the mixture curdles, about 2 minutes.
Pour the mixture into the lined sieve and let it drain 1 hour. But I only drain for 10 mins. Save the whey for cooking rice or soup, chill the ricotta, covered; it will keep in the refrigerator 3 days.

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