Whole Milk Ricotta

   In Canada, the dairy industry is rather strictly regulated so everyday urban folk generally have a difficult time getting milk directly from the dairy. A dairy could do its own pasteurization and bottling and federal regulations dictate it go through the dairy board. This makes it basically impossible to get either raw milk or pure heavy cream.

   On a recent visit to one of the organic markets, I happened upon a dairy from southern Alberta who has been permitted to sell their pure cream without adulteration. Oftentimes, typical grocery store cream is mostly carageenan and other stabilizers and thickeners. The cream I recently found has 52% Milk Fat. It’s so thick one would almost think its a cheese in it of itself. But I decided to use it with full fat milk to make whole milk ricotta.

   With the homemade ricotta, I decided to do a twist on a Hungarian classic noodle dish: Turos Csuka. A dish normally done with homemade dry cottage cheese and bacon.

WHOLE MILK RICOTTA

2L/8 cups Vital Green Farms whole milk

500mL/2 cups Vital Green Farms heavy cream (52% M.F) (If you can’t get this level of heavy cream, use 1L/4 cups of regular 35% cream)

1/4 cup vinegar or lemon juice

Candy thermometer

Sieve

Cheesecloth/mueslin

   Pour milk and cream into a large, non-reactive pot. Heat gently over medium heat with the thermometer immersed in the milk-cream mixture, but not touching the side or bottom of the pot. Stir occasionally to get a uniform temperature throughout as it heats. When the thermometer reaches 85C/190F, take the pot off the heat, add the vinegar, stir it through and allow to sit for 15 minutes.

   After 15 minutes, the vinegar will have curdled the milk fats within and separated. Pour the mixture through a sieve placed over a bowl, lined with cheesecloth. Allow to slowly strain until most of the whey has drained away.

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Turos Csuka (Hungarian-style noodles with fresh cheese and bacon)

200g/8oz dry egg noodles

6 slices Sunshine Organic bacon

3/4 cup Whole Milk Ricotta

Ground black pepper to taste

   Bring a medium pot of water to a boil and add the noodles. Stir occassionally over 8-10 minutes. Strain and add to a medium bowl.

   While the noodles are cooking, fry the bacon in a skillet until crispy. Drain the crispy bacon on paper towels and reserve a tablespoon or two of the bacon fat. In a medium bowl, with the cooked noodles, crumble the bacon into tiny bits, add the crumbled Whole Milk Ricotta and finish with ground black pepper and toss to combine evenly. Serves 2.

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