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Sicilian Homemade Ricotta Cheese

Reviewed: Sep. 27, 2013
I have made great Riccota cheese using just the whole milk. After heating one gallon of the milk very slowly to around 170 - 180 degrees, I then stirred 1/2 cup of apple cider vinegar into it. It immediately began separating and I let it sit for 30 minutes to finish separating. Then I placed a cheesecloth-lined colander inside of a large mixing bowl and gently poured the hot milk mixture into the colandar. At this point remove the bowl of whey for use in cooking, baking, etc. After you remove the bowl of whey, gently rinse the vinegar out of the ricotta cheese with a gentle flow from your kitchen tap water. Some people don't rinse at all because they like the kick which vinegar gives to this cheese. Others only rinse a little bit while others rinse it very thoroughly. It's your choice. If you rinse too much and decide you liked it better before you rinsed it, add a few tablespoons of vinegar back into it. When you are finished rinsing it, place the ricotta cheese in a mixing bowl, add salt (to taste) and then you can add anywhere from 1/2 to 1 cup of milk, cream or even buttermilk if you want a more tangy flavor. Use the whey for cooking corned beef and cabbage or a ham/cabbage/potato soup or a New England Boiled Dinner. Ham with noodles is also very good cooked in this broth. The slightly vinegary whey eliminates the need to add sauerkraut and it's really delicious.
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