Sometimes I fall into a funk of complaining. My job is so hard. I have no clue what I’m doing with my life. Etc, etc, etc. It is at these moments that I need a subtle reminder of just how beautiful the people who surround me really are. Just how lucky I am. Tonight was one of those reminders. Nothing spectacular. A friend’s concert. Catching up. Drinks. That’s just it though, beauty lies in the commonplace, but in the commonplace it also all too often hides. Thank you to my friends and family whose encouraging words, whose endless supports, whose comforting hugs have become so commonplace I forget they are a luxury not everyone is privy to. Thank you. Times one million. Thank you.
This has little to do with my cheese here, unless you count me owing a huge thank you to Nancy Silverton, author of this recipe, for opening my eyes to the world of homemade ricotta. Clearly my jumping from one idea to the next in this post proves my thoughts are a muddled mess, with one notable exception…my thoughts about this cheese. Let me tell you what I thought: Making cheese would be hard. Now let me tell you what I found out: It’s not. In fact, it’s so easy and so full of flavor, I have no intention of ever buying ricotta at the store again. It’s a waste of my money. Really. A gigantic waste. So, here’s to friends, family, and homemade cheese. Forever.
Homemade Ricotta Cheese
from the Mozza Cookbook
Combine 4 cups whole milk, 1 cup cream, 1 1/2 tsp. kosher salt, and 2 tablespoons lemon juice in a saucepan and bring just to a boil without stirring. Immediately remove pan from heat.
Let mixture stand for 15 minutes at room temperature. As time passes, the curds will begin to separate from the whey. If only a few curds form, your lemon may not be acidic enough; add another 1 Tbsp. lemon juice, gently stir so you don’t break up the curds too much, and let stand for 5 minutes more.
Using a large spoon (not slotted) or measuring cup, spoon curds into a cheesecloth-lined sieve set over a large bowl. At this point, transfer cheese to an airtight container or continue draining in the refrigerator. (I tied my cheesecloth to a chopstick and set it over a cup to continue draining. While this is not necessary, I found that the cheese that I continued to drain in the refrigerator was much more flavorful and dense than the cheese I immediately transfered to an airtight container. Take your pick.)