Sunday, August 01, 2010

Ricotta & Pita Adventure!

Finally took the plunge in making cheese. I had been wanting to try it for awhile, but was nervous. So I bought a cheap gallon of milk....$2. I also wanted some plain yogurt to make some tzatziki sauce so I decide to split the gallon and make half yogurt and half ricotta.

Here is the milk for the ricotta with the instant read thermometer in. I needs to heat to 180-190 degrees.

Here is the pot with the milk for the yogurt. Also needs to heat to 180-190 degrees...

You need some acid to curdle the milk to make the cheese. You can use vinegar or lemon. Obviously, I chose the lemon. The recipe I used called for 3 Tablespoons of lemon juice.

Pour it in and....Viola...curds. Since this was my first time I was not sure what it should look like when it was all separated into curds and whey. So I'm pretty sure I didn't leave mine to sit long enough to completely separate and as a result lost a lot of milk when I strained it.

Once the milk for the yogurt is heated, I put it in the sink with cold water to cool it down to 120 degrees. At that point you add your starter. I just buy a 6 or 8 oz container of plain yogurt and whisk it in. You can add any flavorings and sugar at that point as well. So far I've only done plain and vanilla.
Once the milk has separated into curds and whey you strain it with a colander and cheese cloth. However long you strain it results in thicker ricotta.

Here it is!! You also can add some heavy cream or half and half to bring it to the consistency you want. . . and salt!!!

I wanted to make gyros because I wanted to make tzatziki which is why I made the yogurt. I was trying to find pita in the grocery store and could not find it anywhere!! I looked in the bread aisle....nope. I looked in the bakery section....none. I looked by chips and crackers....nothing! I even located the ethnic section....nada mente. So I made my own. With Erin's help of course!


Here they are at first in the oven. They bake at 500 degrees for 4-5 minutes. Thankfully it was a cooler day!

And Poof!
"Not sure I can do a good poof, can you show me a good poof?" (name that movie)

Yes one poofed correctly, the other got stuck. But when they cooled I used a sharp knife and carefully helped it open.

Beautiful! They were great filled with our gyro toppings. Erin also had one with PB & J.

I've been slowly adding things to my baking equipment. These were $5 at TJ Maxx!! You have to love something that says it's Blowtorch Safe!

I like that they are blue and white and not just the traditional white. Creme Brulee here I come!!!!!!!

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