Sharyn Thompson writes: A few months ago, I purchased a cookbook written by Chuck Hughes. You may know him from ‘Chucks Day Off” from the Food Network. He is a wonderful chef, I always learn something new each time I watch his show.
In his cookbook, I was intrigued to see how to make your own ricotta cheese. It isn’t at all difficult. I had it made in a flash! Then I made a large pan of lasagna.
From this, I froze some portions to be able to reheat when I was having my shoulder replacement. My right arm ( I am right-handed) is imobilized in a sling for a month. So at least we can eat some good lasagna, as well as other meals I have frozen for this time. I think you will enjoy trying to make your own ricotta cheese. It isn’t hard at all and you will be quite proud of yourself!
8 cups (homo) whole milk
2 cups buttermilk
1 cup heavy cream (whipping cream -35 % fat)
cheesecloth (we carry this hard to find item at my store, Sharyn’s Pantry)
In a large pot, heat the milk, buttermilk and heavy cream over medium heat until a candy thermometer reads 185 degrees F. (this is 85 degrees
Reduce the heat to LOW to maintain this temperature.
(The mixture should NOT boil or the curd will break.)
Let this rest on the heat without stirring, until a white curd forms at the surface. This will take about 30 minutes.
The yellowish whey will separate from the curd which is your ricotta cheese. Discard the whey. (Or you can add the whey into homemade bread and not waste it.)
Line a colander with 3 ply cheesecloth, place it in your sink. I placed a bowl under the colander to catch the whey. Read on and you will see why: • Pour the curd into the colander and let drain for 30 to 45 minutes. For a drier ricotta cheese, let it drain longer in the refrigerator. (I did this and it got too dry- I needed to add in some of the drained whey into the ricotta.
Transfer this into a bowl. Season with salt to taste. I added about 1 tsp. of Kosher salt.
I made between 3 and 4 cups of ricotta cheese. • If you are not using the ricotta cheese immediately, cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for up to 3 days. ENJOY!!!
TO MAKE MY LASAGNA:
To my ricotta cheese I added to it 2 beaten eggs, some fresh chopped parsley, salt and pepper to taste. -Here’s how I layered it: from the top down:( My pan is a large stainless steel roasting/ lasagna pan.) grated mozzarella cheese homemade spaghetti sauce with meat no cook oven lasagne noodles (we carry this handy item at my store, Sharyn’s Pantry) grated mozzarella cheese ricotta cheese mixture (I used all of the ricotta mixture in one layer) homemade spaghetti sauce with meat no cook oven lasagna noodles homemade spaghetti sauce with meat -Bake the lasagna for about 40 minutes in a 350 degree F. oven. ENJOY!
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