24 April 2012

Homemade Ricotta

Church of Christ in Norfolk has been offering cooking classes for the past couple of years. Each class has a theme and is taught in a different style. Pasta making, holiday hors'doeuvres, cooking with maple syrup, vegetarian cuisine, a Lebanese meal, sushi making and cooking with Guinness are only a few of the classes that have been shared with the community. Each offering is unique, we've had sit down dinners, demonstrations and hands on learning experiences. Each participant leaves with new recipes and a full belly. It is truly a divvied up dinning experience. People from a 30 mile radius come together one evening a month to learn from someone who is willing to share their passions for food.

Last week Heather Tirrell Adams lead a class titled "Homemade Ricotta 3 Ways." Heather is a Boston University trained chef who is living in Cambridge Ma, she worked for Hungry Mother and has published recipes. It was exciting to be taught by a trained, innovative and enthusiastic chef.

Homemade Buttermilk Ricotta

Yields about 2 cups

1 half gallon of whole milk (preferably fresh, organic)
2 cups buttermilk, well shaken
1 cup heavy cream (not whipping cream)

Combine in a large pot. Heat over LOW heat. Using a thermometer heat to 175 degrees, do not let the mixture boil and DO NOT STIR. Once the mixture reaches 175 degrees remove from heat and let sit and cool for at least 2 hours at room temperature.
Set a sieve, lined with cheesecloth, over a bowl. Gently scoop the milk curds into the sieve using a slotted spoon. Be sure not to disturb or break up the curds. Gather cheesecloth up around the cheese and fasten with a rubber band. Let it sit and drain in the fridge for 12-24 hours.

Transfer to a container. Cheese will keep for 4-5 days.

I was amazed how Heather transformed the silky smooth, creamy and oh so delicious ricotta into appetizers, salad, entree and dessert.

If you live within driving distance of Norfolk, CT, come and join the fun at the next cooking class- Homemade Ravioli on May 15th at 6:00. We will be learning to make our own raviolis and then sitting down to share a meal.

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