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Homemade Ricotta

Tuesday, February 23, 2010
Homemade Ricotta

VINCENT: But you know what the funniest thing about Europe is?
JULES: What?
VINCENT: It's the little differences. A lotta the same shit we got here, they got there, but there they're a little different.
JULES: Examples?
VINCENT: Well, in Amsterdam, you can buy beer in a movie theatre. And I don't mean in a paper cup either. They give you a glass of beer, like in a bar. In Paris, you can buy beer at MacDonald's. Also, you know what they call a Quarter Pounder with Cheese in Paris?
JULES: They don't call it a Quarter Pounder with Cheese?
VINCENT: No, they got the metric system there, they wouldn't know what the fuck a Quarter Pounder is.
JULES: What'd they call it?
VINCENT: Royale with Cheese.
JULES: Royale with Cheese. What'd they call a Big Mac?
VINCENT: Big Mac's a Big Mac, but they call it Le Big Mac.
JULES: Le Big Mac. What do they call a Whopper?
VINCENT: I dunno, I didn't go into a Burger King. But you know what they put on french fries in Holland instead of ketchup?
JULES: What?
VINCENT: Mayonnaise.
JULES: Goddamn!
VINCENT: I seen 'em do it. And I don't mean a little bit on the side of the plate, they fuckin' drown 'em in it.
JULES: Uuccch!

(J. Travolta & S. L. Jackson, Pulp Fiction, second scene; if you...ehm...care for the Italian version, take a look here)

Ah, the little differences. How nice it'd be if one day I could drive around Hollywood in that old Chevy with Vincent Vega and Jules Winnfield. We could talk for hours about the little differences: ice cold drinks, salted butter, coffee in a paper cup, peanut butter & jam sandwiches.
One can get used to everything, mayo with french fries and triple, no-foam cappuccinos (???). But ricotta ...ehm..., sorry but on this one I'd have something to say. The little difference in this case becomes an abyss of taste and creaminess. Vincent, I swear. If Marsellus by any chance sends you over to Europe one more time, get yourself a dose of fresh ricotta, and then let's talk about it.
As for me, since there's nothing better around here, I cheer up with this.


Homemade Ricotta
for about 1 lb. of ricotta

milk 2 quarts
heavy whipping cream 1/2 cup
white wine vinegar 5 tablespoons
salt a pinch


To be precise, this is not really ricotta, since ri-cotta (as the name says, literally re-cooked) should be made by the cooking a second time the whey that's left over from making cheese. Regardless of the name, this thing is really good, and most of all, it's far better than any version I've been able to find at the supermarket.
In a large pot, mix milk, cream, vinegar and salt. Put on the stove at medium heat until it reaches between 195 and 205 degrees (what? you still don't have a cooking thermometer?). It'll take about 40 minutes. Turn off the heat and let it rest for approximately 20 minutes in the same pot, without ever touching it, so that milk can curdle and coagulate. Using a slotted spoon, gently transfer ricotta in a fine sieve (even better if it's lined with cheesecloth) and let it drain until it reaches the desired consistency. Adjust with salt and keep it in the fridge.
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