Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Week 45

I will be opening more long term storage this week, so stay tuned.  I know you will be on the edge of your seat waiting...
What am I talking about today-Ricotta Cheese.  A fabulously versatile ingridient that can be used in dozens of recipes ranging from cannoli to lasagne.  Okay, you can buy it at nearly every store with cheese, but did you know you can make it yourself...from powdered milk? It's actually a simple process and uses your food storage non-instant powdered milk.  Here's what you need:
Homemade Ricotta Cheese
8 cups reconstituted non-instant powdered milk
1/2 tsp sea salt (if available)
3 Tbl white vinegar or lemon juice

In a heavy saucepan, heat the milk & salt to boiling over medium-high heat. Stir constatly to keep from scorching. When it boils, stir in vinegar or juice, cover and remove from heat.  Let it remain as is for five or six minutes.

With a slotted spoon, stir it gently as curds form and separate from the liquid mixture (whey). Add the curds to a mesh strainer lined with cheesecloth (yes, it has another use besides making halloween ghosts). Rinse the curds with cool water and use immediately or transfer to a clean bowl, cover and put in fridge for up to five days.  How simple is that?

Now that you have ricotta cheese, try this recipe:
Baked Ziti
1 lb. ziti pasta
2 cups ricotta cheese
1/4 cup grated Romano cheese
2 (8 oz.) cans tomato sauce (reserve 1/4 cup)
1/8 tsp. black pepper, or to taste
2 cups grated mozzarella cheese

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Spread reserved 1/4 cup tomato sauce on bottom of a 9 x 13 pan. Cook ziti until it is al dente, stirring often.  Drain, but don't rinse.  Combine ricotta, Romano and tomato sauce. Gently stir sauce into the cooked ziti. Add ziti mixture to 9 x 13 pan and top with mozzarella.  Cover loosely with foil and bake 20 minutes, or until cheese is melted.

Both these recipes can be found in the book Not your Mother's Food Storage, by Kathy Bray and Jan Barker.

1 comment:

  1. I LOVE ricotta! I'm so excited to try this. I will comment again after I do!