Saturday, April 03, 2010

In A Whirl 'Cause She's Not

A bazillion years ago in blog years, our delightful friend Georg convinced me to make my own ricotta and on this very blog, I documented my cheesy experiments. I didn't really think it would work because Georg can do anything and I can't add and subtract, but I followed her instructions and - BLAMMO! cheese! I did have to think about the cost effectiveness of the process, though: one gallon of milk produces 4 cups of cheese, and milk, while wholesome, is fucking expensive.

Then again, sometimes you're minding your own business in the health food store, find quart bottles of goat milk and you think, By gum, I could eat a good pizza. Sometimes a small amount of cheese goes a long way, and standing there in the health food store, I decided I wanted to help it.

Georg's recipe must have been in the comments that disappeared ages ago because I couldn't find it. I resorted to searching for recipes on one of Dad's favorite websites and found one that was both enthusiastic and fully crazy. I thought, Yeah, bring it. First, I did not have a gallon of goat milk, so that meant I was going to do some math. This is not promising.

The recipe called for 1/3 cup + 1 teaspoon of white vinegar. I could divide the teaspoon by four with the help of my handy measuring spoons, but I couldn't remember how many tablespoons went into 1/3 cup, which someone made me memorize in eighth grade. So I got out those measuring spoons, measured how many tablespoons of liquid filled my 1/3 measuring cup and did what I was bound to do from the beginning: I guessed. I heated the goat milk, poured in the vinegar, sprinkled in a tiny amount of salt and let that bitch sit for two hours while I did several things that are none of your beeswax. After two meow-meow hours, I spooned and then poured curds into wet coffee filters sitting in a strainer and let that bitch sit for another two hours before I squeezed out any remaining clear liquid and put the curds to bed in the fridge for the night. The one thing that must be said about this process is that, other than the math for me, this could not be easier for you to do.

The yield is about one earthy, grassy cup. Pete and I tasted tiny bits of it and were surprised by the subtlety and complexity of flavor. This is not a lot of food unless you're putting it on a pizza for two middle-aged people to eat after their second jobs, where a cup of goat milk ricotta is just right with one thinly sliced turkey meatball, spinach, a tiny bit of fresh marinara and a few shrimp on a thin, admittedly store-bought crust. Not to be frou-frou about this, but precise: fresh ricotta is easy to make, offers the assurance that little if any unwanted chemical crap is in your food, and tastes like real food.

I feel a batch of ravioli coming on...



Blogger georg said...

I am proud of you. love(1)

You can also call me with questions - Siobhan has my number.

10:56 AM  

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