Why hello there dear readers and happy new year to you all!
Of course we are all hoping this year is a better year than last … after all, 2020 can well and truly be looked back on as not one of history’s best. So hopefully things are looking up for you, even just a tiny bit, wherever you are.
So, I know I have been quiet. Positively mouse-like. But things are still happening. I completed a Diploma in Nutrition during the year. I would not profess to give advice and I still have a lot to learn, but it was very interesting.
Another thing which happened is that a very surprising object landed on my kitchen benchtop. I was totally speechless, (those who know me personally may find this hard to believe – but it is true), but I think it’s restarted my cooking vibe again. It also means that poor Tony has removed himself further from his wish for ‘ordinary food’. It mills, mixes and mutates ingredients into food I’ve never heard of – and I’m quite enjoying it!
One thing I am also enjoying is cutting down on buying what I considered staples. You know – those things you think can’t be made at home because they don’t break down any further? Like bread (which we have looked at in an earlier post), or milk (and no, we have not invested in a cow). So, where are we going here?
One recipe I have calls for ricotta. More particularly, an incomplete tub of ricotta. And that really gets up my goat, because I don’t like wasting food, but I don’t have any recipes that call for an annoying amount of leftover ricotta (that I’ve found, anyway).
Enter (drum roll please) The Thermomix!!
(Calm down Thermie!! Actually, to prevent it sounding too self-indulgent – probably any cooking appliance that will maintain a constant temperature.)
Take one litre of full cream milk, a constant heat of 85 degrees Celsius and 15 minutes (sorry – that does include some stirring to prevent catching)
Then add 40mls of white vinegar, stir once and then wait for approximately ten minutes more.
Strain and drain.
Voila – curds (ricotta) and whey. My yield is about 180g of ricotta from one litre – and that’s from both fresh & UHT, although the UHT was a bit tangier and a little more solid. I haven’t experimented with low fat milk or alternative milks yet.
I suspect that cottage cheese uses a similar technique – separating the milk solids out in a weird, curdling kind of way. And yoghurt is also a fermented version of the same.
However, now I have a new problem – where to use all the whey that’s leftover, but that’s another story for another day, I guess 🙂
In the meantime I will investigate ricotta cheesecake recipes with renewed enthusiasm 🙂 The Italians may well be onto something there. Or, ricotta gnocchi – not quite the pillows of fluffiness they should be (apparently), but quite edible!
And while I’m on the tangent subject of Italian type cuisine, I’m on the lookout for a good tomato sauce recipe. Our tomatoes are about to ripen and we will not be able to eat them all… I’m all ears!
My fun quote today comes from the late Alan Rickman:
“I’m still living the life where you get home and open the fridge and there’s half a pot of yogurt and a half a can of flat Coca-Cola.”
And if you haven’t recognised the quote from my title, I’m not quite sure where this leaves us…