February's RtR challenge had us making our own cheese - Ricotta! Then we were to serve it as we pleased. I made mine into a gnocchi recipe I found on another RtR members blog with a bolognese, and some cheese on top. Yum! Please check out the other RtR members and past challenges at http://recipestorival.blogspot.com/
Making the cheese was much easier than I ever would have realized... just heat up milk and buttermilk, strain it, and voila! Easy peasy.
The recipe, from our host Lauren at http://www.illeatyoudelish.blogspot.com/
you'll need:1 gallon milk (you can use 1 percent on up, remember that the more fat in the milk, the more cheese it will yeild.)
1 quart buttermilk
cheesecloth (a good, tightly woven one, not the kind you buy at the supermarket)
If you don't have one of these, you can get by with a slotted spoon, but you may lose some of the cheese.
-a thermometer (mine is for oil and candy)
Place buttermilk and milk in a pot, heat on med-low heat until it reaches 185 degrees. It will begin to separate into curds and whey. Be sure to stir occasionally to make sure no curds stick to the bottom and burn. You will see that as the temperature approaches 185, the whey becomes clearer as the curds coagulate more.Pour the curds into a cheesecloth lined collander. Tie the ends of the chesecloth together and hang for 10-15 minutes. Remove from cheesecloth and place in an airtight container. Voila! Cheese!
Here is a link to a post about making ricotta, with pictures:http://illeatyou.com/2008/08/coming-ful%20…%20-well.html
Some tips: use can use milk that has been pasteurized, but not ultra-pasteurized. Ultra pasteurization heats the milk too much, and de natures the proteins that form curds. You will not get cheese from ultra pasteurized milk. Sorry.
make sure your pots and other equiptment are very clean before starting
you can make any amount as long as you stick to a 4 parts milk to 1 part buttermilk ratio.
Apologies for the photo - my camera is still out of commission, and I forgot it anyhow so this was a failed attempt at a camera photo!
Bolognese Recipe can be found here. It was great! I followed the reviewers recommendations and cut the cinnamon and nutmeg to 1/8 tsp each, and I added the cream after reducing the wine, and reduced it some then too. I served it the next day... yum!
Gnocchi recipe here. LOVED this! I omitted the ramps (not avail here and I figured they would get overwhelmed by the Bolognese anyhow). Made a really light and fluffy gnocchi, and a great use for the cheese!
The cheese was SO easy to make! It was a bit denser than what you get in the store but tasted great... like ricotta! :) Thanks to our host!