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Jesse's Blog 50- Ricotta2019.02.17


Jesse's Blog 50- Ricotta

Hello!イーオン日立校ブログをご覧頂きありがとうございます♪
バレンタインにはJesse先生にたくさんのチョコレートを頂きまして、生徒の皆様には本当に感謝しております。いつもありがとうございます!
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Last week, I talked about cooking pasta.  I’ve been really into cooking Italian food recently, so today I’m going to continue the theme.  There’s one ingredient that is really common in America, and used in all kinds of Italian cooking, that I just can’t find in Japan: ricotta cheese.
 
Last year, I made lasagna for my friend.  American lasagna uses a lot of ricotta cheese.  It’s probably the most important ingredient.  I looked at Ito Yokado and even Jupiter (the foreign food store in Mito station) but I couldn’t find ricotta cheese.  Finally, on Amazon, I found it, but it was really expensive.  That lasagna cost about 5,000yen only for ricotta.  I had already promised to make lasagna, so I bought it anyway, but it was so expensive I decided never to buy it again.
 
Unfortunately, that meant a lot of my favorite Italian dishes were impossible in Japan.  Ravioli, tortellini, and simple gnocchi, all use ricotta.  When I started making a lot of fresh pasta again last week, I tried again to find ricotta, but still failed.  Then I went on the internet and researched to see if it is possible to make it at home.
 
It is.  Actually, it’s not just “possible”, it’s really easy and cheap.  Italian ricotta is made from the whey (water-like liquid) that is produced when you make cheese.  That’s a little complicated.  American ricotta however is made directly from milk, and it’s very simple!
 
Pour two liters of milk into a cooking pot.  Heat the milk to 85 degrees C.  This is the only difficult part, you shouldn’t boil the milk, try to keep it at 85 degrees.  When the milk is 85 degrees, add some acid.  The best acid is lemon juice, but vinegar works too.  For two liters of milk, add about 40ml of acid.  Use a long chopstick to stir the acid into the milk, and that’s it.  You will see the milk curdle, which means it will make lumps, and separate from a liquid that looks like water.  Don’t stir it any more.  Leave it in the pot at 85 degrees for 20 minutes.  After 20 minutes, pour it into a fine mesh strainer, or a normal strainer covered in paper towels, to drain the liquid away.  You just made ricotta cheese!
 
It’s delicious in all kinds of pasta sauces, and it’s perfect for stuffing inside pasta like ravioli.  You can also use it for making pancakes, cheesecake, and gnocchi.  Some people just eat it in a bowl, with a little honey!
 
If you try this, please tell me!  If you have any questions, I’m happy to answer them.  I’ll be eating a lot of ricotta for the next few weeks!
 
(note – Don’t use low fat milk, it doesn’t work as well.  Also, if you add the acid and nothing happens, keep adding a little more acid.)
 
 

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