07 January 2008

D.I.Y.

I'm so terribly ashamed of myself. That for as long as I have not blogged, I have not touched a pan, or a whisk. Nor the pale yellow skin of a bulb of fresh, raw garlic. Or heard the sizzle of the garlic as it touches gently heated olive oil.

In the past few weeks, when people talked about food, my eyes didn't sparkle the way they usually would have. Even more blasphemous, I caught myself, on multiple occasions during lunch, buying a tuna sandwich that was evidently hastily put together a good 4 hours ago, rather than queueing up for a delicious bowl of Wanton Noodles at the store next door. Of course, that tuna sandwich would not be able to fill me up, and I would resort to crackers or biscuits at half-hourly intervals.

Each weekend was burnt paying back my sleep debt that I had accumulated at an alarming rate through the week. I spent my few waking hours putting some food into my tummy just so that I would not be disturbed by a growling tummy while I was asleep.

I wasn't sulking my days away of course, but I must admit rather embarrassingly that my kitchen apron has been very much neglected. Of course, this blog included.

I have however, much fodder to last me a couple of blog entries to come, just simply no time to blog about it. And so it is, that I am at my desk now, taking a much needed break while waiting for my bosses to reply my emails, blogging about homemade ricotta cheese.



Making cheese is possibly among the ranks of making ice-cream for most people - incredulously impossible. Yet both are, like the violin or the guitar, so deceptively simple to pick up, though perhaps difficult to master. While I approached the recipe that I had spotted in Donna Hay's magazine on making my own ricotta cheese with much trepidation, I am extremely delighted to report that it is incredibly simple.

My friends who had arrived early for a party, were eager beavers and asked to help. So they got into an assembly line to dish out little table water crackers of homemade ricotta cheese, oven roasted tomatoes soaked in olive oil (yes, the same ones from the previous post), diced ham and parsley. Season and serve, tres simple.

It helped that the ricotta cheese could be made up to a week in advance so I didn't have to worry about the ricotta cheese draining in time for the finger food to be served. A word of warning however, is that starting out with just a little milk will yield a pathetically measley portion of ricotta cheese. So be daring and just pour the whole darned carton of fresh milk in!

Ricotta
Makes 1 1/4 cups (287g)
Donna Hay Issue 35

Ingredients
6 cups (48 fl oz) full cream milk
2 tbspns white vinegar

Method
Place milk and a candy thermometer in a saucepan over medium heat and heat to 80 degrees celcius.
Remove from heat, add vinegar and allow to sit for 5 minutes or until curds form.
Line a colander with fine muslin and place over a deep bowl.
Use a slotted spoon to carefully spoon the curds into the colander.*
Allow to drain for 5 minutes.
(I improvised with some coffee machine filter paper instead.)
Spoon the ricotta into a glass or ceramic dish and loosely cover with plastic wrap.
Store in the refrigerator for up to 1 week.

* The reason the curds need to be carefully spooned is to ensure they hold their shape. Pouring the curds straight into the colander will result in the cheese becoming dry and grainy.

5 comments:

san said...

Hi Daffy, missed having you around. It is good to have you back, even if it is just a glimpse :)

Anonymous said...

she's BAAACK

"we're prepping for a big event
come see your taxes being spent
inviting vendors that are far mo'
upper class like ferragamo

of course we shouldn't show a bias
after all we're mcys...

blah blah blah"

Jaime-La-Nourriture said...

nice! miss having you around too!

Daffy said...

San san> Hello! I did miss blogging too. Hope you and your family are well? I'm sure you already have grand plans for CNY. =)

Joseph> Omg, I want to hear the tune! This sat? *grin*

JLN> =) Thanks, try it! It's quite rewarding.

vanessafrida said...

Hey you...long time no chat..how are you doing?

I thought of you when i used my dutch oven recently.

Currently, I am so inspired by Donna Hay, i am organising a Donna Hay Tag, and I was wondering if you would be keen to take part too….
Here’s the link http://vanessafrida.livejournal.com/202333.html