You might have seen DIY ricotta on any number of foodie blogs and there’s a very good reason. It’s easy and the ricotta you can make at home is about a thousand times superior to the commercially made products you find at the supermarket. Homemade, fresh ricotta can work wonders for a plain old pizza, salad, or pasta dish… or serve some with your favorite fresh fruit, a drizzle of honey and some toasted nuts and you’ve got an amazing dessert. It’s also a fun way to bring a little science in the the kitchen for those budding, young Harold Magees out there.
I did a lot of reading and research and I can recommend the article on Serious Eats’ “The Food Lab” as my favorite resource on DIY ricotta. You can jump right to the end for the recipe, but the rest of the article is worth a read too. You’ll get a good primer about the best kind of milk and acids to use, making ricotta for different uses (for filled pastas, cannolis or pancakes) and other handy tidbits. While you’re at it there are also a few sites that do a good job of explaining the science behind “curds and whey” (Education.com and Let’s Talk Science are two). Just think, if you make this with your kids you can impress them with your awesome knowledge of colloids!
I’ve already made ricotta a few times and am happily scheming all kinds of ways to use it. Enjoy!
Ricotta Recipes: Dinner in a Blink: Pasta Al Pastore, Leslie’s Favorite Pumpkin Muffins, Tortellini in Brodo, Good Old Fashioned Casserole: Penne with Chicken Sausage and Cheese
I’m sure you can relate…… the endless buffet of Halloween candy that you just want out of the house. You could work out a candy for books or games trade or thin the herd in the cover of night, but you could also have some fun and make these cookies.
With the cornucopia of mini candy bars and random candy you see but once a year, this is THE season to make Momofuku Milk Bar’s famed compost cookies. It’s a neutral cookie dough to which you can add whatever bits of sweet and salty goodness you have laying around. Pretzel pieces, candy bars, jelly beans, potato chips — heck even other cookies! Sky’s the limit. If you like sweet and salty AND thinking up silly combinations, then you will love making these. Have a few for dessert, bring some to friends, and pop some extra dough into your freezer so you’re prepared when a cookie emergency arises.
I am intrigued by Chef Christina Tosi’s method of creaming the butter, eggs and sugar for 10 minutes (!) to let the sugar fully dissolve and incorporate air into the mixture. I’ve never come across this before, but it does make for a very creamy batter. Something to do some further research on. Where’s Harold Magee when I need him?
Without further ado…. Here’s the recipe from Chef Tosi’s appearance on Live! with Regis & Kelly and some great pictures and commentary on the Compost Cookie from one of my favorite food blogs Momofuku for 2. I’m noticing my cookies look (and probably taste) a lot less delectable than the Momofuku for 2 version, but hey that’s just how baking goes. It’s such a finicky art. But all the more reason to make these again and see what happens. It’s all part of the adventure.
Just for fun:
- The menu for Momofuku Milk Bar’s East Village location. Check out the Compost Cookies of course…. how about a kimchi and blue cheese croissant? Cereal-milk-flavored soft serve, volcano potato gratin, apple pie cake, anyone?
- If you’re a fan of the “cookie in cookie” concept like Luca and I are, I can heartily recommend the Cookies and Cream cookie at Anthony’s Cookies at 1417 Valencia here in San Francisco. [See Simran’s previous “Dogs, Pies, and Cookies” post to read more about her Mission District food adventure including her stop at Anthony’s Cookies.]