Tuesday, July 21, 2009
Ricotta is step one to making paneer. You can stop right there and enjoy it in its fluffy creamy state or you can press it and the result is a farmer cheese or a paneer, or you can take it one step further and inoculate it with mold and attempt a blue cheese or cook the curds again and make a mozzarella or heat it really really slow and you have a cream cheese. Whatever cheese you choose it isnt that hard.(officially ricotta, which means cooked again, is the cheese made from the leftover whey making it a whey cheese and not technically a cheese - thus this style of ricotta is technically not a ricotta) If you want to make a 'cheese' just to get the hang of it then get the large tub of plain yoghurt, low fat, no fat, all fat - your choice and come cheese cloth - put the yoghurt in the cheese cloth and let drain until a nice smooth cream cheese is left. Depending on how much you drain it will determine its consistency - if you need greek yoghurt for a recipe but you dont have any then drain regular for a bit until its thick - get the idea?
Heat the milk past 90F, add rennet or lime or vinegar to make the curds, the more acid the harder the curd, lime is the weakest vinegar is stronger and rennet is the best.
Let sit a moment then strain with cheese cloth and let drain a good long while. See the whey? This whey is what is used to make real ricotta.
This was 2% milk so you see you can even make it lowfat! You can eat it like this and enjoy the fresh ricotta you made in minutes or you can put it in a press if you want a firmer cheese.
I would then fluff up the curds and add salt -it is at this state that you would add the mold inoculate for blue cheese but this one I am leaving plain - then press it to firm it up.
This is it.
Posted by Christo Gonzales at 2:59 PM