Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Recipes I've Tried and Loved

Cucumber Fruit Salad
This is a recipe I found on http://allrecipes.com/ Its similar to a Waldorf Salad. I've made it many times and LOVE it! I love the contrast of the tart sour cream and the sweetness of the apples and cranraisins! I also love the freshness of the cucumbers with the parsley. All of these different flavors just dance on your tongue! This is a very impressive salad!
The photo is my own.

Cucumber Fruit Salad (Waldorf Salad)
1 english cucumber - peeled into stripes and sliced as in photo
1 Macintosh apple - cored and cubed
1/2 cup cranraisins
1/2 cup sour cream - I used fat free
1 Tbls. sugar
1 Tbls. fresh parsley - minced
1/3 cup walnuts - chopped

In a bowl, combine the cucumber, apple and cranraisins.
In a separate small bowl combine the sour cream, sugar and parsley.
Pour over cucumber mixture and toss to coat. Stir in walnuts. Serve immediately.

If you want to make this salad ahead and store it in the fridge, just do not add the dressing until just before serving. And add a little lemon juice to the apples to keep them from browning. I mix the dressing and store it in a separate container. Then just add to the salad when needed.

Homemade Mozzarella in 30 Minutes
I found this recipe on a cooking site, posted by a cook named Malinda Coletta at http://www.justapinch.com/recipes/appetizer/cheese-appetizer/homemade-mozzarella-cheese-in-30-mins.html?p=1 I tried this and it was perfect! The supplies can be found at www.cheesemaking.com. They ship fast and the prices are great! When you make this cheese, taste it while its still warm...YUM!
My photo.
Homemade Mozzarella in 30 Minutes

2 gal. very fresh milk
1/2 tsp. lipase powder - optional - I didn't use this and it was fine.
3 tsp. citric acid
1/2 tsp. liquid vegetable rennet
2 tsp. kosher salt or cheese salt

  • We start by dissolving ½ teaspoon of Lipase powder in ½ cup of cool water; it needs to sit for about 20 minutes before adding to the milk.
  • I pour two gallons of milk in to a CLEAN stock pot (stainless steel DO NOT USE an aluminum pot)and bring it up to 55F over a medium heat stirring constantly; this step goes quickly so be sure to have your thermometer in the milk most of the time. When the milk reaches 55F, add 3 teaspoons of Citric Acid and your Lipase.
  • Heat the mixture to 90F over medium to low heat you will see the milk start to curdle. Off to the side I have waiting in a glass ½ teaspoon plus 2 drops of rennet mixed with ½ cup of water. When the milk hits 90F I add the rennet mixture. Gently stir in an up and down motion, while heating the milk to 105F. Turn off the heat. The curds should be pulling away from the pot and they are ready to be scooped out.
  • Scoop out the curds with a slotted spoon or a Chinese spider (that is what we use) put into a microwave safe bowl. Press the curds with your hands, pouring off as much whey as possible.
  • We then microwave the curds on high for 1 minute. Drain off the whey again. Gently fold the cheese over and over as if you are kneading bread. Again, microwave for 30 seconds on high drain off whey and add 2 teaspoons of salt.
  • When the cheese is smooth and shiny we roll, it into medium size balls and place them in a bowl of water and ice to cool. Once cool we pat dry and wrap in plastic. This makes about 2 pounds of cheese. We also make ricotta cheese for the remaining whey…but that is another post!!
Whey Ricotta
This is another recipe I made from Malinda Coletta. I made this ricotta from the leftover whey from the mozzarella recipe. The only thing I would do is to add salt to taste. This is very good and very easy to make. I added some italian seasoning and drizzled my ricotta with extra virgin olive oil. I served this as a cheese spread.
My photo.
Whey Ricotta

Leftover whey from making mozzarella cheese
1 qt. whole milk or heavy cream
1/4 cup cider vinegar
kosher salt to taste

Add milk or cream to whey and heat to 200 F.
Once the mixture hits 200F turn off heat, add vinegar and stir. You will start to notice tiny white particles. This is curd. Add salt to taste.
Ladle the curd into a colander lined with cheesecloth or a light weight kitchen towel. Allow to drain. Once you can handle the cloth, tie it into a knot and hang over a bowl to drain for several hours.
If you will be using this as a cheese spread, season with whatever you desire...garlic, italian seasoning, olive oil, etc.



  1. I have to try this... love ricotta, especially with fresh pasta and herbs and then grated aged Pecorino Romano... OMG!!! Thank you baby girl!!!

  2. Thank you Didi! This was my first attempt at making ricotta a few years ago! I've been hooked on homemade cheese ever since!


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