Thursday, January 27, 2011

In the cook!

I am so in the mood to cook. Doesn't seem to matter what, a trip to the grocery store is all I need to inspire me!  I have been reviewing an online cooking school for the magazine,"Cooking Pleasures", and, though I consider myself a moderately good (skill-wise) cook, I have picked up many little pointers in the last two weeks. So much so, that I went on and paid for the full years' tuition. , check it out.

I started with stocks, basic, huh? You bet, but the little hints here and there will make my stock taste so much better. Here are some of the containers that fill my freezer:

and the aromatics:

Then it was on to ricotta cheese. Yep, I make my own, and you can too! I use New England Cheesemaking Supply,

  I read about Ricki the Cheesemaking  Queen, in Food and Wine magazine either 3 or 4 years ago. The article was about making your own mozzarella. I had to try it! She sells a kit, 30 minute Mozzarella, with everything you need to make your own fresh mozzarella in under an hour! I then went on to make boccinicini, little bite sized balls with olive oil, roasted garlic, and fresh basil. Life tastes so sweet.  We love the homemade ricotta, it tastes so much better than store bought, unless you live in a large city that has a grocer that makes it fresh. With the homemade mozzarella and ricotta, you end up with a large amount of whey. Ricki includes a recipe book with the kit, and we have used it many times for the whey pizza dough.  Here is the recipe for the pizza dough:

3-31/2 cups all purpose flour                             3/4 tsp salt
1 package, or 1 TBSP rapid rise yeast               1 cup very warm whey
(if you do not have whey, you may use milk)
2 TBSP olive oil                                               Cornmeal

Combine 2 cups flour, yeast and salt.  Stir whey and olive oil into dry ingredients.  Stir in enough remaining flour to make a soft dough..Knead until smooth and elastic. Cover, let rest about 10 minutes. 

We use this to make calzones with the ricotta, but if you make pizza:

Lightly oil 1-14", or 2-12" round pizza pans.  Sprinkle with cornmeal.  Shape dough into smooth ball. Divide and roll to fit pans.  Top as desired. Bake at 400 degrees 20-30 minutes or until done.


I hope you decide to try this, as it is a very simple and fun task, especially with older children. They will love to watch the curds form and separate from the whey.  Until next's to your health!!

1 comment:

  1. This is awesome Lisa! I can't imagine you can improve on your cooking skills. It's always delicious.
    How awesome is it that you make your own cheese?! I would love to try it some day when I have the nerve. I love how you say it's easy with older children. ;)
    You are a farmer's daughter. I think I am a wanna be; if ever it got to scary or gross, I might be out of there!
    XO, Ang