Thursday, July 3, 2014

You want how much for that?

July 3, 2014

We love lasagna, perhaps the chef more so since she can make a batch in a 13x9 cake pan and get four meals out of it. Cook once, eat four times. What busy working person wouldn't like that? Being that I'm beginning a four-day weekend I thought I'd make lasagna for dinner and then freeze the other portions for Himself to heat when Herself doesn't feel like cooking after a day at the office. 

Did you know the local grocery wants $6.59 for a large tub of Ricotta cheese? (You want how much for that????)  I can buy a half-gallon of milk for $2.49 to make my own and it will taste better. 

Making it's easy. When making ricotta for lasagna, I use the entire half-gallon of whole milk. Heat the milk to just before it's ready to boil, but don't allow it to boil and foam. Sprinkle in a dash of salt. Two if you like salty which I don't. While it heats, squeeze the juice from two lemons (yes, catch the seeds and discard). Some recipes call for using white wine vinegar, but I like the mild lemon flavor as opposed to the more acidic wwv flavor. And I usually get the zest off the lemons before I squeeze the juice because I might get energetic and use it in something else.

When the milk is ready, turn off the heat and stir in the lemon juice - give it a good stir - and let it sit for five to ten minutes. Clumps should form. Then strain the mixture using cheesecloth or line a colander with coffee filters and strain through that. The filters take a lot longer but I like the result better. The ricotta will keep four or five days refrigerated in a container with a good seal. One of these days I may try freezing some just to see what happens although I expect the end result might be sort of nasty. 

If you need a real recipe you can find one here. This is the one I started with and modified for what works for me. The page also has handy pictures. 

So I'm going to make my own ricotta, save a bunch of money, and bypass ingesting some preservatives. What should I do with the money I save? 

Go buy a book, of course. 


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