I really love going home. My mom’s kitchen is twice as big as mine and it is filled with exotic ingredients and fancy pots and a tool for everything. (Yes mom, it was me that took the purple sticky rice & the cranberry beans).
But more than the fancy kitchen is the sense of home and the fun that I get to have with my mom. Talking about ingredients, one upping each other with cupcake ideas & successes – she wins this round with lemon cupcakes with a lemoncello filling and lemon frosting with another dash of lemoncello. And no, she didn’t save any for me or give me the recipe.
Tonight, because I was only in town for one night, and because she has been bragging about this home made ricotta, we made cheese. We filled the house with the smell of buttermilk and whey and now have what looks like a science experiment in the fridge. But the little bit I was allowed to sample tastes divine. It is rich, slightly sweet and almost buttery tasting. It is home made, and it is real food. It has made it into the compendium of family recipes that my dad is compiling. One day I will sell out and get a cook book deal with all the deliciousness inside it. Until then, I will I will have to tide you over with the ricotta recipe. And pictures of it on this delicious crisp bread that I picked up at the local food coop last weekend.
Buttermilk Ricotta Cheese
- 6 cups whole milk
- 3 cups buttermilk
- 2 cups heavy cream
- 2 tablespoons vinegar
Pour all the ingredients in a large saucepan and bring to a simmer over medium heat. Simmer for a few minutes making sure that you have lots of little curds formed. Remove your pan from the heat and let it cool slowly (for about 20 minutes).
Strain the cheese through a cheesecloth lined strainer. This process takes a little while – you don’t want to put too much liquid in the strainer at any one time. If you think some curds have escaped, you can run the liquid through the strainer twice. Squeeze out the extra liquid.
Refrigerate in the strainer over night over a bowl to collect all the extra whey. The cheese will keep for about a week. Put the whey in a separate container and save to make something like my dad’s delicious english muffin bread.
I enjoyed my ricotta on a gluten free crisp bread with black berries from the food co-op and some University of Illinois Honey (as made famous on the Colbert Report). I might have died and gone to heaven. Now, go make your own ricotta and never buy it from a grocery store again.