Friday, July 24, 2009
homemade ricotta cheese vs a lobster lunch
So, today the cousins, grandson and dedicated 'tour guide' went off to the south west coast of the island to visit Prassoudi. It's a lovely little beach with a perfect restaurant above it.
The water was clear and cool (the temps today were around C/ F in the shade!)... and the snorkeling was good. Then for lunch Jenny and T had the "special" -
(specially chosen by the proprietor Elias!)
which is a delightful simply grilled fresh lobster (usually caught just off the coast near the restaurant) with a side plate full of chili spiced spagetti. It's marvelous!! It's a vacation memory all by itself.
After their swim and feast they went sightseeing.
The old Venetian fortress at Gardiki with its ancient olive tree was a fine way to top off the afternoon before the long ride back home.
Meanwhile, I made lasagna for supper - BUT since I didn't have any ricotta cheese I wondered how hard it would be to make some. ("They do it all the time in Italy," she thought wryly... "how hard can it be?" the answer- Not Very!)
I put cups of full fat milk (I used long life UHT ), cups of buttermilk, 1/2 c of cream and a BIG tablespoon full of plain Greek yogurt in a stainless steel pan and brought it all up to a boil. (pretty much stirring constantly so it wouldn't scorch.)
When it finally came up to the boil, I let it bubble away gently for about minutes and it went from being thick and gravy-like to curdling with the curds falling to the bottom of the pan. (keep gently stirring!)
I lined a colander with a clean damp linen kitchen towel, and then poured half of the contents of the pan into the colander. The liquid ran out of the bottom and the curds solidified in the middle, then I added the rest of the pan to the colander and brought the edges of the towel together to carefully twist the liquid out from the curds.
That's it. I ended up with around cups of lovely rich soft ricotta cheese. When it cools you have the most delicious (really!) fresh ricotta cheese. It was great in the lasagna.
I think if I made it for cheese cake (which I'm planning for next week) I'm going to add some lemon zest to the milk before I bring it to the boil.
So another "dinner party" here on Sunday, with friends and family... only of us. Anyway, this is really like tomorrows post so I'll probably NOT write another til Sunday- or maybe Monday... depending on how things go.
Life is good.