Monday, April 16, 2012

More work needed

Not every recipe turns out the way you hope...but I always think it's an opportunity to work on it, and eventually get it right. I mean life's a learning experience. Right?

The other day a neighbour brought in a container of ricotta cheese fresh from the manufacturer. It was still warm and it was DELICIOUS and much better than anything I'd bought or tasted before. I thought why not give it a I did.

This was my first attempt so I thought I'd try it with just a litre of milk (full cream please), because MONT had brought some home from Bonnie Doon and it didn't have long to run on it's use-by-time

I checked out a few recipes for ricotta...some used citric acid, others vinegar. The one I chose used lemon juice as the curdling agent.

You'll need

1 litre of full cream milk
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup cream
2 tablespoons lemon juice

Bring the first 3 ingredients to a slow boil in a pot, stirring so the milk doesn't scald. Add the lemon juice and reduce the heat and give it a gentle stir. Note: don't stir it too much.
You'll see the curds forming almost immediately. Turn off the heat and let it sit for a minute, then strain the liquid through muslin or cheesecloth into a sieve and let drain for about an hour

As you see in the photos I used a cotton tea towel because I couldn't find the muslin...but it also did the trick.

This is what you're left with...warm ricotta cheese

Mine tasted OK, but nowhere near as good as the one I was given. Mine was a little grainy and dry. I think I tried to accelerate the drainage process instead of being patient.
I won't be impatient next time

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Taste of the sea

There is nothing better than something freshly caught, especially if someone very close to you is the "catcher".

I was reading Kitchen Hand's blog What I Cooked Last Night and he was speaking about some beautiful, plump mussels from Portarlington  that he bought over Easter

Well, we often get a couple of kilos of mussels each year when we holiday not far from Port'.

MONT also catches his own fare...whiting, flathead, the occasional snapper and squid.

We had some squid left over in the freezer, so had it as a snack the other night...

This isn't a recipe as such. It's much simpler than that.....

Put the calamari into a very hot pan with a little oil and chopped garlic, cook for a minute then eat.

Job done.

There is nothing as simple or as tasty