Tuesday, December 9, 2008

Prairie Muffin Moment

Thanks to my otherwise useless accumulation of airline miles, I receive several free magazine subscriptions. Among them is Bon Appétit. I usually enjoy flipping through it and sometimes even have the guts to try a recipe or two. But the latest issue has to be one of my favorites because most of the recipes in it can actually be made from cheap ingredients that are readily available in small town Idaho.

That said, I must admit that I am loath to attempt anything at home that is better—and usually less expensive—left to professionals (lip balm, formal wear, surgical procedures, etc). And until now this also included cheese, although I have, inadvertently, created something akin to feta by accidentally leaving one of the kids' sippie cups full of milk under the seat in a warm car for several days. So yeah, sometimes "just like homemade" is not the compliment you want to garner for your efforts.

I digress. I saw this recipe in the latest Bon Appétit, and it was so simple I had to try it. And whaddyaknow! It worked! Homemade ricotta—in less time than it takes to make a box of mac n' cheese! I felt just like Laura Ingalls Wilder. I did let it drain a bit too long, so it's more crumbly than I'd hoped, but I'll definitely try it again. (It firms up a lot in the fridge.)

Their photo, not mine.

Ricotta is technically not cheese, since it doesn't involve a culture, but I am still amazed that this is so easy to do at home. And here's the extra-frugal Little House on the Prairie bit: I couldn't let all that whey go to waste (I paid too much for all that milk to just let it drip down the drain!), so I did a little Googling on how to use it and discovered that you can put it in most recipes that call for buttermilk. Therefore, I made a loaf of Buttermilk White Bread plus some rolls, substituting whey for the buttermilk, and they turned out great. Yea! And bread is definitely one thing that is inarguably better when produced at home.


Aunt Brenda said...

You're not allowed to tell us about cool food stuff without including step by step instructions!

Nicky said...

yah, how do you make it? I wanna feel like
laura too.

Cinnamon Rolls and Bacon said...

You can click on the words "this recipe" in the third paragraph. Or you can click here.

Cinnamon Rolls and Bacon said...

Also, I just realized the link color was really hard to see, so I changed it to orange. Happy cheese making!

Christopher and Jackie said...

We're excited to make some cheese too. And, good job finding a use for the whey. I'm looking forward to some good buttermilk pancakes on Christmas morning.

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