February 19, 2010

"Skier's curd cure stumps cheese whizzes"

Every so often I head over to Google News and type in "cheese" to see what comes up.  Often it's a bit distressing, but other times it can be quite amusing and, well... topical:
Does ski sweetheart Lindsey Vonn owe her downhill gold to an obscure cheese curd she slathered on her badly bruised shin? We may never know, but good luck finding her topfen outside Austria.
Full story here and here.

February 18, 2010

Goat's Milk Ricotta

It's been quite awhile since making any cheese, and last night I decided it's time to get back on the horse (or goat, as it were). We had a gallon of Whole Goat's Milk in the fridge, ready to go--the plan was to make another Chèvre, but I wanted to branch out a bit more and try something different. But, we also wanted to eat it right away!  A few pages further into Ricki's book, we found her Whole Goat's Milk Ricotta recipe. Perfect!

A cheese purist will tell you that's it's not Ricotta if it's not made from Whey, but this recipe calls for just a gallon of whole goat's milk -- no whey. Ricki acknowledges this discrepancy, but then moves past it, with the implication that's it's darn tasty, so who really cares? I'm inclined to agree.

This recipe actually reminds me a lot of the Lemon Cheese recipe:  Heat some milk, add a bit of acid, and drain the curdled cheese.  Couldn't be much simpler.

1 Gallon Trader Joe's Whole Goat's Milk
1/4 Cup Apple Cider Vinegar
3 Tbs. melted New-Age-Whole-Foodsy-Trans-Fat-Free-Fake-Margarine (the recipe calls for butter, but this is all I had on hand)
1/2 tsp. Baking Soda
1 tsp. Flake Salt

Heat the milk to 195F, stirring constantly to avoid scalding. Turn off the heat, and slowly add the vinegar, stirring slowly and thoroughly. (Ricki's recipe suggests that if it's not curdling properly, instead of adding more vinegar, increase the temp to 205F--but be careful not to boil.)  Allow the curds to set for a minute or two.

Once the milk has curdled, and there's a clear separation between the curds and whey, ladle the curds into a colander lined with butter muslin. Tie up and allow to drain for about a minute. Place in a bowl, and mix in the butter and baking soda. That's it!

The recipe didn't call for salt -- an odd omission, I think. After mixing in the "butter" and baking soda, the salt took it from bland to grand!

Goat's Milk Ricotta on whole wheat penne.  Sauteed organic spinach with olive oil, garlic, crushed red pepper, a few spices, and dollop of the ricotta melted in.  Drizzled with Cavedoni Botte Piccola Italian Balsamic.