Who knew making cheese was so easy? Seriously, who knew? Last week I was on some sort of a cheese tear and made paneer and ricotta. For this batch of ricotta I used a recipe on Mark Bittman's blog - Bitten.
Leave it to the food junkies on Bitten to point out that his recipe is really and truly NOT for ricotta cheese. Apparently true ricotta is twice cooked, meaning it is made from the milk that is left over after making mozzarella. His recipe was for paneer. Whatever. Tasted like ricotta cheese to me, actually like deliciously fresh ricotta cheese. However, it does explain my confusion as to why these 2 seemingly different cheeses were made with the same ingredients and method. As I was making the paneer, I kept thinking I must of got the recipes mixed up.
Here's how to make Bitten's recipe:
1/2 gallon (2 liters) of whole milk and a teaspon of salt. Bring it to a simmer.
Add 3 T of lemon juice. Curds will form immediately. Cook for another 3 minutes.
With a slotted spoon, take curds and allow them to drain through cheese cloth.
Tie up curds in a bundle and let drain into your sink for about 20-30 minutes. **At this point you could squish your curds together into a rectangle and make paneer.**
Here are the recipes:
Food and Wine's Creamy Ricotta