Homemade Ricotta Cheese – Meatless Monday
In today’s world there is such an emphasis on things being “quick”, “easy”, and “fast”. This is especially true when it comes to food and meals. It’s easy to get lost in the pre-packaged or ready-to-eat foods that we lose sight of the joy of cooking things ourselves.
A few months ago, I decided to push myself to get “back to basics”. Meaning that I wanted to try making some foods that ordinarily I would just purchase at the store. My reasoning for trying to make more things from scratch included:
- Trying to save some money on making more foods/ingredients myself
- Getting back to eating less processed foods
- Teaching my kids the joy of cooking things for yourself
- Learning new cooking skills
I’ve always loved cheese. Next to butter, I’d say cheese is one of my favorite foods. When I was in college, I remember having to take a Food Science class where we had to memorize all the steps involved in making cheese. Trust me when I say it was a LOT of steps. However, I recently found out that homemade Ricotta Cheese doesn’t require all those crazy steps and actually is quite easy to make for yourself.
So, one afternoon I attempted to make Ricotta cheese and while the first attempt came out pretty good, I made it two more times to really get it right. And believe me when I say, it tastes so good! It only requires a couple of ingredients, no fancy equipment other than cheese cloth, and the steps are pretty simple. Cheescloth is available at many stores but I just ordered mine online. God bless Amazon.
While this recipe for Homemade Ricotta Cheese doesn’t require many ingredients, it is time consuming because it has to sit for long periods of time. However, you don’t have to do much to it while it’s sitting, so you can go do other things while it’s “processing”.
Once the final step is complete, the cheese is completely ready to eat. I found my favorite way to eat it was on a toasted slice of sourdough bread, topped with fresh tomato and basil. However, I also just enjoyed it straight out of the bowl on a spoon as well.
You could easily add this to crackers, use it in lasagna,as a veggie dip, or add to scrambled eggs. It’s so versatile and has such a mild taste that I feel it would be great in so many dishes.
This recipe makes for the perfect Meatless Monday ingredient! I’d have a slice of sourdough topped with homemade Ricotta Cheese, fresh tomato and basil served with a side salad for lunch. It’s a great meatless monday breakfast or lunch idea.
Have you ever tried to make Ricotta Cheese? You can check out my other Back to Basics post on this Homemade Tomato Sauce recipe.
In addition to the ingredients listed below, you’ll also need:
- Large non-reactive pot/bowl
- mesh strainer
- 1/2 gallon whole milk
- 1/3 cup heavy cream
- 1/4 cup white vinegar
- 1 tsp salt
- Line a mesh strainer with a single layer of cheesecloth and place over a non-reactive bowl
- Place milk, cream and salt in a non-reactive pot and place on stove on medium heat
- Heat for about 5 minutes, until thermometer reads 180 degrees
- Slowly add vinegar, stirring while adding
- Remove from heat and leave pot untouched for about 1 hour
- Using a ladle, gently transfer the solids to the cloth covered strainer
- Let the ricotta drain, for about 1 hour, until most of the liquid has drained away
- Lightly squeeze the cheesecloth to remove an excess liquid and then transfer the ricotta cheese left in the cheesecloth to a storage bowl/jar