Sunday, January 23, 2011

Mollie's Ricotta Cheese

The Infamous Eggplant

I have an eggplant.
One eggplant.
One lone eggplant that actually came off of the plant that I nurtured and loved.
I feel slighted.
I'm a jilted lover.
Especially since 3 yrs ago my ex-husband and I lost all of our plants to a frost except our eggplant.
I'm not kidding you.
I made every dish under the sun with eggplant in it.
I felt like Forrest Gump.
So now, when I WANT some eggplant I get one.

So, what did I decide to do with my one precious eggplant?
I have my Christmas present cheese making kit.
I have about a billion grape tomatoes (don't ask me why it's still producing at the end of January).
I have some day old french bread.

I feel eggplant parmesean coming on!
But ya'll know me. I had to mix it up a bit.

I started with the making the ricotta.
This was about 945407389675 times easier than making the mozzerella.
And must tastier.
And I didn't really follow the directions.

Little O passed out hardcore yesterday afternoon.
Helping D work in garage is tough on a 2yo.
So, I put on my head phones and proceeded to crazy kitchen dance and assemble my ingredients...

Place your cheese cloth inside a colander over a bowl...

Gather the fancy new thermometer that your awesome father bought you, one gallon of milk, 1/4 t. citric acid, and 1/4 t. cheese salt...

Then over the music rocking in my Ipod touch (thank you Uncle Max for saving my sanity after the ipod-in-the-tubbie-incident-of 2010) I heard BEEP BEEP BEEP. After jumping ten feet and yelping (yes, I yelped) I remember that 3 hours ago I put bread into the bread machine...
Pull that out.
Burn fingers.
Eat some.
Burn mouth.
Yummmyyy...Rye/sauerkraut/beer bread...

Pour milk into pot.
Turn heat to low.
Add 1/4 t. citric acid.

Add 1/4 t. cheese salt.
At this point my favorite current song came on and I felt the urge to groove.
This also happened to be the moment that D returned home.
Quite embarrassing I tell ya.

So, the directions said medium heat for 20 minutes till the temp reaches 195.
Scratch that.
I did low, low heat for about 45 minutes, stirring very, very often until the temp reached 195.
This seemed to make much creamier and softer curds...

After about 20 minutes...

After 45 minutes...

Now let sit of 5 minutes.
Scratch that.
I let it sit for 20 minutes.
Not because I thought it mattered.
Nope, because Little O awoke, I had laundry in the washer, D was setting up the Firetruck bed, I NEEDED to check Facebook (haha), and the recycling needed loaded into the car.
Back to the ricotta.
I strained it into the cheese cloth...

Tie up the cheese cloth with some kitchen twine and hang from some random place in your house for about 30 minutes...

In the mean time...
Do the dishes
Make the beds
Get a band aid for D
And then one for O
Sweep the floor
Put away laundry
Make the beds
Text your Mom
Text your Brother
Slice the eggplant with the fancy, yet deadly, mandolin

Strain the whey into jars for freezing...

In the end you have...

The rest of the evening involved excessive amounts of playtime in the sandbox.
Working in the garden.
I'm not sure what to do with all this dill and tomato and parsley.
I tried to talk my tulips and daffodils back into the ground.
Enjoyed a lovely dinner with D.
Him in the computer room.
Me on the edge of the bathtub while O had tubby time.
After O went to bed we did open a nice bottle of wine, toasted 2yrs together and watched the IT Crowd Season 4.
I'm still giggling...


Elsa said...

Ricotta is soooooo much easier than mozzarella. You should try to make mascarpone, it's even easier. I am going to make it eventually and post it. I hate searching every single store trying to find it (and rarely do), and when I do find it the price is way too high.

Kate said...

I'm so sad for your that you don't have the selection we do here. I just want to send you food!

Elsa said...

We have zero selection. I guess this encourages me to make everything from scratch though. hehe

If you send food, send lobster!!