Cheese

Products made from milk or cream

Homemade Ricotta in Cannelloni

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Update to Homemade Ricotta – In July and September I posted Blogs about making your own Ricotta Cheese.  The first batch that was made used Lemon Juice to curdle it.  The second batch I tried using Rennet Tables but that did not work so well, so here I am back using the Lemon Juice which works great!  This batch of Ricotta like the first batch made was very delicious and on a par (if not better) than the expensive brand I usually buy.  When I buy Ricotta I buy a whole milk product which has much more flavor and body than the lower fat one.  I usually pay between $5 & $6 for it.  The batch I made at home this time, cost:

 

Milk – $2.99

Cream – 75 cents

Milk, Salt and Cream

Milk, Salt and Cream

 

 

Lemon Juice – free (the lemons were given to me – if you have to purchase the lemons you will need 1-2 lemons depending on the size – also the price will vary from store to store and from State to State.

 

 

 

 

3 Tbsps. Fresh Lemon Juice

3 Tbsps. Fresh Lemon Juice

 

 

Cheese Cloth – about $2.00 worth (but I was able to wash it and will be able to reuse it again)

 

So, my fresh batch of Ricotta which tasted delicious and was made right in my own kitchen cost me about $4.00 to make, not counting the gas and the hot water for washing the pot.  Maybe it was as much as I pay for the finished product but it was well worth it as it is delicious.  For the directions for making the Ricotta, please visit Adventures in Cheese Making

 

 

Homemade Ricotta Cheese

Homemade Ricotta Cheese

 

 

Now, what did I do with this batch of Ricotta.  I made Cannelloni for dinner tonight and was able to freeze half of them for another meal.  If you have four or more eating dinner, the whole recipe will be sufficient for 4- 6 people, depending on appetites.  If teenage boys are involved, then you will have dinner only for four.  If like us, there are only 2 people at the meal, then you will have at least 2 meals out of it and maybe more.

 

While the Ricotta was draining  I made the Crepe Batter for the Cannelloni Shells and then refrigerated it.  Crepe batter needs to rest for at least one hour after being made. For the recipe see  Crepe Batter

While the Crepe Batter was resting, I started the Meat Sauce that was to go over the top of the filled shells.  Next, I shredded the Mozzarella Cheese that was to go over the Meat Sauce.  If you need a recipe for the Meat Sauce you can just use my Fresh Tomato Sauce but start out by sauteing a pound of ground beef, chicken or veal before you add the other ingredients.  Or you can use only Tomato Sauce.

 

Tomato Sauce

Meat & Tomato Sauce

 

After the Crepes are made and the Sauce is simmering, prepare your Ricotta Cheese by adding an Egg, some freshly shredded Parmesan, Basil and about 1/2 tsp. Salt and 1/4 tsp. White Pepper or whatever your taste buds decree.  The Basil that I added was actually a combo of minced Basil and Garlic in Olive Oil.

 

 

Basil, Egg and Parmesan Added

Basil, Egg and Parmesan Added

 

 

 

Set the Crepe Shells out on a flat surface and place 2-3 Tablespoons of the Ricotta filling on each Crepe (depending on the size of the Crepe).  Fold in the sides and then the top and bottom.

 

Filling on Crepes

Filling on Crepes

 

 

Wrapping the Crepes

Wrapping the Crepes

Wrapping the Crepes (2)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Wrapped Crepes

Wrapped Crepes

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Place each filled and rolled Crepe in a baking dish that has been lightly oiled with Olive Oil.  Place them close together.  When all the shells are filled, wrapped and placed in the baking dish top with the Sauce and some shredded Mozzarella Cheese.

 

Wrapped Crepes in Baking Dish

Wrapped Crepes in Baking Dish

 

Sauce on Crepes

Sauce on Crepes

 

 

 

 

 

 

Bake at 350 degrees for 20-30 minutes or until everything is hot and the Mozzarella Cheese has melted.

 

Baked Cannelloni

Baked Cannelloni

 

Serve immediately with a mixed Green Salad and fresh Italian Bread, if so desired.

 

This dish will serve from 4-6 people, depending on appetites.  We had enough leftover for a second meal and half the Manicotti went in the freezer for a third meal.  Of course, we are only two people and so we are lucky enough to have more than one meal out of this dish.

 

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Posted by Admin Test - 2016/04/10 at 7:47 PM

Categories: Cheese, Dinner Ideas, Ethnic Cuisine, Italian, Main, One Dish Meals, Pasta   Tags: , , , , , , ,

PIZZA PIE DAY

Monday, February 9th is ‘Pizza Pie Day’.  Are you going to go out and have pizza?  Or are you going to make and bake your own?  Homemade Pizza is delicious and easy to make.  I will say that it probably won’t cost you any less to make it than to buy it but the ingredients you use will be better than the ‘Take-Out Pizza’ or the Pizzeria Pizza.

 

To start with, you need good ingredients.  You could cheat a little and buy the Dough already made at Trader Joe’s or an Italian Deli.  But, if you have a Food Processor or a Sanding Mixer making the Dough is a cinch.  For the recipe see pizza-dough/

 

Shaped Pizza Dough

Shaped Pizza Dough

 

 

 

 

 

For the toppings you will need:  Crushed Tomatoes  (use a good brand – you want a thick one)

Basil, Oregano, Salt & Pepper

 

Crushed Tomatoes

 

 

 

 

Whole Milk Mozzarella (whole milk is by far better tasting than low-fat)

 

 

Shredded Mozzarella

Shredded Mozzarella

 

Other additional ingredients:  Mushrooms, Onions, Bell Peppers, Olives,

 

 

Vegetable Topped Pizza

Vegetable Topped Pizza

Pepperoni or whatever else you want on your pizza.

 

Pepperoni and Vegie Pizza

Pepperoni and Vegie Pizza

 

If you don’t want to create your own, here are some suggestions from other Posts and Pages from Sylveees Kitchen.

Sun-dried Tomato Pizza – -sun-dried-tomato/

 

Hawaiian Pizza

Hawaiian Pizza

Mexican Pizza                 –   mexican-pizza

Pizza Night                          pizza-time/

 

Okay everyone, get busy and make some Pizza tonight or tomorrow.  If you don’t get around to it tomorrow which is Pizza Pie Day, you can still do it anytime this week.  The second week in February is ‘American Pizza Bake Week’.

 

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Posted by Admin Test - 2015/02/08 at 12:40 PM

Categories: Baking, Bread, Cheese, Dairy, Italian, Main, Mexican, National Food Days, Pizza, Tropical   Tags: , , , , , , , ,

ADVENTURES IN CHEESE MAKING – RICOTTA AGAIN

This time I decided to make a batch of Ricotta using Rennet Tablets. It was my understanding that a quarter of a Rennet Tablet would be sufficient to curdle two quarts of milk.  Unfortunately, this did not happen.  When I used the Lemon Juice the heated Milk curdled within about 2 minutes.  With the Rennet, I cooked and stirred with the Rennet added (after the milk came to a boil) for about 10 minutes.  Getting frustrated I added Lemon Juice and it still did not look curdled so I added the rest of the Rennet Tablet.  It finally curdled but did not yield as much Cheese as the Lemon Juice alone did and it was much looser and did not hold its shape.  Fortunately I used the Cheese in Sweet Cheese Turnovers so the thickness did not matter as much.  To add body to the Cheese I also used about half a carton of Mascarpone (thick Italian Cream Cheese).  Next time I will go back to the Lemon Juice.   

To make the Turnovers I placed the drained Ricotta in a medium-sized mixing bowl and added half a carton of Mascarpone, (about 4 oz.) along with 1 Egg, 2 Tablespoons Granulated Sugar (this should be to your taste) and some Vanilla. A pinch or two of ground Cinnamon may also be added if desired.   Combine the mixture and refrigerate until ready to use.

For the Turnovers I used commercial Puff Pastry but you can use Pie Crust or any other type of Dough that you prefer.

Have a small bowl of cool water at hand to help seal the pastry edges along with a fork to crimp them.

Lay out the Pastry on a cutting board and cut into 6″ squares.  If needed you can use a clean ruler to measure.  I usually just eye-ball it.  Use a long knife or Pizza Wheel.  Keep your eye on the end point and you will end up cutting a straight line.  If you try to guide the knife or wheel, it is likely that your pieces will end up crooked.  (I learned this little trick from my Mother who used to make all our clothes – when she cut out fabric she always said, keep your eye on the place where you want to end – this will guide your hand  and keep it straight)  It works every time!

Pastry Squares Pastry Squares

Arrange the squares so that they are facing you as a diamond.  Place a scoop of the filling on each square.  (I used a #30 food scoop – about 1 1/2 Tbsps.) The filling should be placed just below the mid-point which will give you enough room to fold over the pastry and seal the edges without the filling oozing out the sides.

Sweet Cheese Turnovers - Filling Added Sweet Cheese Turnovers – Filling Added

Using your clean finger or a pastry brush lightly coat the edges of two adjacent sides with the water;  fold over into a triangle and then crimp with the fork.

If you plan on baking the Turnovers right away preheat your oven to 400 degrees.  Line a baking sheet with parchment.  Place the Turnovers on the lined baking sheet with at least 2 inches between each turnovers on all sides.  Even though there is no leavening agent as such in Puff Pastry, the layers formed by the Butter will puff up tremendously.  Once the baking pan is full brush with beaten egg and sprinkle with Turbinado Sugar.  Bake in your preheated oven for 20 minutes (DO NOT OPEN THE DOOR UNTIL THE 20 MINUTES ARE UP).  The Turnovers should be a golden brown when completely baked – if after 20 minutes they are still too pale then bake for another 5 minutes or until golden brown.  The Baked Turnovers are the Feature Photo above.

If you plan on freezing all or part of the Turnovers before baking them you can place them as close together on the sheet that you can as long as they don’t touch each other.  Once they are frozen wrap them in plastic wrap or the parchment and place in a freezer bag.  You can remove and bake as many or as few at a time as you need.

Sweet Cheese Turnovers  for freezing Sweet Cheese Turnovers for freezing
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Posted by sylveee - 2014/09/30 at 4:24 PM

Categories: Baking, Breakfast Ideas, Cheese, Dairy, Dessert Ideas, Main, Pastry   Tags: , , , , ,

ADVENTURES IN CHEESE MAKING – CHEESE BLINTZ

Now that I had a batch of fresh homemade Ricotta Cheese the next step was to make something with it.  I decided to make a batch of Cheese Blintz to serve for Sunday Brunch with fresh Strawberries.  The crepes for the Blintz are easiest to work with if the Batter is made at least 1 hour ahead of time and then allowed to rest in the refrigerator.  If you try to make the Crepes right after making the Batter there will be too much air in the batter for the pancakes to form properly.  Now as far as I am concerned, the thinner the crepes the better, but of course you do need to have them thick enough to hold the filling without tearing.  You can use the Sweet Crepe Batter Recipe under the Recipe/Dessert Section of this Blog.  deserts/sweet-crepe-shells/ Just reduce the Sugar in the recipe from 1 Tbsp. to 1 tsp.

 

I made the Crepe Batter with the residual Whey from the production of the Ricotta.  This reduces the waste that normally would result from making the Cheese.  To make the Crepes, the Filling and the topping just follow the procedure below.

 

#1 – Make the Batter and refrigerate for at least one hour.

#2 – Rinse, dry, slice and sugar the Berries.  If using Blackberries, Boysenberries or Raspberries eliminate the slicing procedure.  Place the Berries in a bowl and squeeze the juice of 1/2 of a lime (for every pint of berries) over the Berries and then toss with 1/4 cup of Superfine Sugar.  Taste and add more Lime Juice and/or Sugar as desired.

 

Strawberries

#3 – Make the Cheese Filling for the Blintz.   /deserts/cheese-filling/

 

Ricotta Cheese Filling for Blintz

 

4.  Make the Crepes –

 

Heat the crepe pan until a drop of water splashed on it sizzles;  melt the Butter and stir into the  Batter.

  • Use approximately ¼ cup of Batter (the exact amount depends on the size of the pan)
  • While you are pouring in the Batter, tilt the pan with your other hand to cover the bottom of the pan.
  • When the edges begin to dry and bubbles appear on the crepe surface, turn it over with a heat-proof spatula and cook a few seconds more on the turned side.  (Cook one side to a light brown and the other just enough to set the batter.  This side should still be almost white when you remove it from the pan.) 
  • You will be browning the Blintz in Butter before serving them so you do not want the second side to be cooked too long.

 

5.  Filling the Blintz –

  • Lay the Crepe Shells on a flat plate or work surface
  • Place a scoop of the Cheese Filling in the middle
  • Fold in the sides and then fold over the top and bottom.  You should have a square package.

 

Filled Blintz

Filled Blintz

 

6.  To Serve –

 

  • Melt enough Butter to make a thin sizzling layer in the bottom of a medium to large frying pan.  When the Butter starts to sizzle add the Blintz, leaving about 1/4 – 1/2″ between each one.
  • When the bottoms brown gently turn and cook the other side.

 

Browned Cheese Blintz

Browned Cheese Blintz

  • Serve while hot with the sliced Strawberries and Sour Cream or Whipped Cream as a Garnish.

 

Cheese Blintz with Strawberries and Sour Cream

Cheese Blintz with Strawberries and Sour Cream

 

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Posted by sylveee - 2014/07/29 at 11:38 PM

Categories: Breakfast Ideas, Cheese, Cooking for Everyone, Cooking for Kids, Dairy, Dessert Ideas, Lunch Ideas, Main   Tags: , , , , ,