HOMEMADE RICOTTA: IN POROTBELLO MUSHROOM CAPS & KEY LIME SQUARES

by Chef Scotty


RISE AND SHINE  KAUT43  OKC

7.26.16

For this week’s "Teach Me Something Tuesday" on Rise and Shine and the In The Kitchen With Scotty segment, we’re talking ricotta cheese making. 

 

Yes you can make your own ricotta cheese, and yes it is easy, and of course I’m going to show you how to incorporate your new found skill in soft cheese making into delicious recipes. 

 

Don't forget to stop by the "SHOP" section of this website to purchase In The Kitchen With Scotty handcrafted sauces and spice blends that you may need for this recipe. Happy Cooking, and thank-you for supporting my small business! -Scotty

 

HOMEMADE RICOTTA CHEESE 

 

Ricotta cheese making is basically separating the curds and the whey… by way of introducing an acid (buttermilk) to protein (dairy) and heat (your stove). In our case, and in my recipe our dairy is whole milk and heavy cream, along with whole buttermilk which is also acidic and has live bacteria cultures. 

 

Ingredients: 

1 quart whole milk

1 cup heavy cream

1 cup whole buttermilk

1/2 teaspoon fine sea salt (Sel de Mer works great for me) 

 

Make: 

 

  1. Add the milk, cream, and buttermilk to a heavy bottom sauce pan. Add the salt. Slowly being to heat over a medium flame, and give the pan a good stir for about a minute….. then don't stir it again. 
  2. This is where we allow the chemical and physical properties of food to do their thing. Additional stirring will just break up the ricotta curds. As the liquid heats the proteins begin to separate from the liquid. You will see it steaming, then sides separate first , then all of a sudden a soft rolling boil happens and boom you’re done. Remove from the heat. 
  3. With a fine mesh strainer, lined with cheesecloth, and places over a deep bowl, carefully pour out the contents. The ricotta remains, and whey is drained off. The longer the ricotta sets and drains the more firm it becomes. I like mint hang out and drain around ten minutes. 
  4. Let the cheese cool, and place in a sealed container. It will remain fresh in the fridge approximately a week. 

 

 

 RICOTTA STUFFED PORTOBELLO MUSHROOMS WITH ITALIAN SAUSAGE AND ARABIATTA SAUCE

 

4-5 medium sized portobello mushrooms

1 pound sweet Italian sausage (I used turkey Italian sausage) 

1 small yellow onion diced 

2 cloves garlic smashed and chopped 

olive oil for sautéing 

1 batch (about 2 cups) homemade ricotta cheese 

1 large egg

1/4 cup grated parmesan cheese

2 tablespoon fresh chopped oregano

1/2 teaspoon In The Kitchen With Scotty “Cook’s Line Seasoning” 

1 1/2- 2 cups jarred Arabiatta pasta sauce

 

  1. Gently rinse or wipe off any excess dirt from your mushrooms. Remove the stems from your portobellos mushroom, and begin scraping out the dark brown “gills” from inside the cap with a spoon. Set in a baking pan and preheat your oven to 375 degrees.
  2. In a mixing bowl combine the ricotta cheese, parmesan, Cooks Line, oregano, and mix until smooth with the egg. Set that aside. 
  3. In a sauté pan begin heating a few tablespoons of olive oil and cook your onions and garlic until soft and fragrant. Add in chunks of the Italian sausage, and brown along with the onion mixture. Drain off any excess grease, and add the spicy arabiatta sauce. Heat through.
  4. Spoon in the ricotta cheese mixture into the bottom of each cleaned mushroom cap. Top and mound with the meat and sauce mixture. Place in the oven and bake approximately 20 minutes, or until the cap has softened and meat and cheese are cooked through. Top with a nice rectangular slice of fontina cheese or more parmesan. Return to the oven to bake on top, or broil under the broiler for a gratin effect.

 

 

 

RICOTTA KEY LIME SQUARES

 

I mean.... these guys were incredible!

FOR THE CRUST: 

 

1 3/4 cups all-purpose flour

2/3 cups powdered sugar + more for dusting

1/4 cup cornstarch 

2 teaspoons fresh Key Lime zest 

1/2 teaspoon salt

12 tablespoons sweet butter, cubed

 

 

    1    Using a 9x13 baking pan, brush the bottom and sides with melted butter. Fit a piece of parchment paper into the bottom of the pan, and set aside.

    2    Place all the dry ingredients in a food processor. Add the cubed butter, and pulse the mixture until it resembles coarse meal. Pour the mixture into the lined pan, and press down evenly. Let it hang out and rest in the fridge while your oven heats to 350 degrees, and you get started on the key lime filling. 

    3    When ready to bake, place the pan on the middle rack of the oven and bake until golden brown, about 20 minutes. Pull out of the oven and set aside. 

 

 

FOR THE FILLING:

 

8 ounces (1 cup) of whole milk Ricotta

4 large eggs, beaten

1 3/4 cups granulated sugar

3 tablespoons flour

1 tablespoon lime zest

2/3 cups (6 ounces) fresh Key-Lime juice

1/4 teaspoon salt

 

4. While your crust is baking, gather the ingredients for the filling, and begin to whisk the ricotta, sugar, flour, eggs, and salt until smooth. 

5.  Stir in the Key-Lime juice, and zest, and mix well. Into the warm baked crust the mixture goes. Pour in evenly on top of the crust. Gently place back into the oven, reducing the temperature to 325 degrees.

6.  Bake until the center is firm to the touch. about 30 minutes.

7.  Let cool a bit, and lift out of the pan gently using the parchment paper. Transfer to a wire rack, and let cool down to room temp. 

8. Cut into squares evenly, and dust with powdered sugar. Dig in… they’re wonderful!