It’s True! You Can Make Homemade Ricotta in 5 Minutes

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

Keeping Lemons Fresh and Other Tasty Tidbits

Some of my favorite bits and pieces from the past several weeks. Enjoy!
  • Never wonder “what to eat” in San Francisco. If this crib sheet of the city’s tastiest bites doesn’t inspire you to immediately set off on a food adventure, I don’t know what will. We’re working our way down the the “SFoodie 92” list from SF Weekly, but for now we can vouch for Fraiche’s frozen yogurt, Plow’s Crispy Potatoes, the Meatball Sandwich from Mario’s Bohemian Cigar Store among others. Get out there and eat, people!
  • Thoughts on Family Food by Chef Mario Batali — Mario Batali discusses the family dinner (and how he got his kids to eat just about everything) on this episode of NPR’s Splendid Table. Fish taco Thursdays? Sign me up, Mario! [… this episode also includes San Francisco’s own Karen Solomon on making simple cured meats at home. Check out her book Jam It, Pickle It, Cure It and Other Cooking Projects and her monthly baby food swap at 18 Reasons, too.]
  • On Buttered Pasta and Expensive Coffee with Chef Gabrielle Hamilton of Prune Restaurant — While I aspire to Mario Batali’s quintessential family dinner, there are nights I can relate much more to Gabrielle Hamilton’s account of boring buttered noodle dinners and cold leftover bites eaten unceremoniously from her kids’ plates. Sound a little bit familiar, anyone? Check out this piece for New York Magazine’s “New York Diet” column, a kind of culinary “day-in-the-life” series.