Monday, April 27, 2009

Ricotta Salata

This was the other cheese recipe from the Portland Press Herald Article

1 1/2 to 2 pounds ricotta
1 tablespoon kosher salt (if using store-bought ricotta)


  1. Wrap ricotta in cheesecloth and tie ends together. Hang over a bowl for 20 to 30 minutes to allow whey to drain off.
  2. Place on a plate or in a bowl and put a weight, such as a large can, on the cheese. Refrigerate for three days, or until the ricotta is very firm.
  3. Preheat oven to 200 degrees.
  4. Line a baking pan with parchment. Unwrap the cheese and place it on the parchment paper.
  5. Bake for 6 hours, or until the cheese is firm and dry.
  6. Cool completely and then wrap in plastic. Refrigerate for up to three weeks.
Use as you might other hard Italian cheeses such as Romano or Parmesan Reggiano.

Home Made Ricotta


This recipe was just published in the Portland Press Herald.

1 gallon whole milk, pasteurized or raw
1 teaspoon citric acid
1 teaspoon salt

  1. In a large stockpot, combine milk, acid and salt.
  2. Heat to 185 to 195 degrees, stirring often. Do not boil.
  3. As soon as the curds and whey separate, turn off the heat. The whey should look somewhat clear rather than milky.
  4. Let sit for 10 minutes.
  5. Line a colander with cheese cloth and place in a large bowl.
  6. Ladle the curds into the cloth. Tie the corners of the cloth together and hang for 20 to 30 minutes. You can hang the cloth from a knob on a kitchen cabinet or use a wooden spoon through the knot to hang over a deep container.
  7. Eat immediately or refrigerate for up to two weeks.

Makes 3 to 4 cups (11/2 to 2 pounds).

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Lunchopolis Recipes

I am working on my other blog today, writing about the Garbage Free Lunch Boxes I found from Lunchopolis, and I found their link to some Family friendly recipes.

For your own PDF of healthy and eco-friendly recipes, click here Lunchopolis Lunches

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Ham and Rice Croquettes

I found this yummy recipe (for using leftover ham) in this month's Gourmet. I tinkered with the proportions - actually I pretty much ignored them. I doubled up on the cheese (of course) and used both white and wild rice! We are serving them with a side of our favorite whole grain mustard and some leftover creamed onions. My favorite part, is the the kids commented on how great the house smells and these cakes will fit perfectly into their lunch boxes! Cheers to leftovers!

Ham and Rice Croquettes
  • 2 cups cooked white rice, cooled
  • 3/4 cup finely chopped cooked ham (about 1/4 pound)
  • 1/3 cup grated Parmesan
  • 2 large eggs, divided - and lightly beaten
  • 1/2 cup plain dry bread crumbs
  • About 3 cups vegetable oil
  • Equipment: a deep-fat thermometer
  1. In a large bowl, stir together rice, ham, cheese, 1 egg, and 1/4 teaspoon pepper.
  2. Put remaining egg (lightly beaten) and bread crumbs in separate shallow bowls.
  3. Heat 1 to 1 1/2 inches oil to 350°F in a 10-inch skillet over high heat.
  4. Meanwhile, dampen your hands and form 1/4-cup amounts of rice mixture into 2 1/2-inch cakes.
  5. Lightly coat cake with egg, then with bread crumbs.
  6. Fry croquettes in 2 batches, turning once or twice, until golden-brown, 2 to 3 minutes per batch.

Saturday, April 11, 2009


I am a little late this year, but oh well, here's the yummiest part of passover. Well that's my opinion, from good ole WASPy me!
Haroset, or Charoset is a dish served during Passover. Charoset in Hebrew means clay, and the dish's color and texture symbolizes the mortar with which the Israelites bonded bricks when they were enslaved in Ancient Egypt.

There are many recipes for Charoset. A typical recipe would include nuts, apples, cinnamon, and sweet wine. Honey is used as a sweetener and binder: the mixture is not cooked. Variations for this recipe do exist that may include raisins or other ingredients native to the Middle East such as figs or dates. In Egypt, it is made only of dates, raisins, walnuts, cinnamon and sweet wine. In Greece and Turkey, it consists of apples, dates, chopped almonds and wine. In Iraq and Central Asia it sometimes consists of grape jelly. In Italy, it can include chestnuts. In Spanish and Portuguese communities of the New World, such as Surinam, it may include coconut.

I intended to put this recipe up a week in advance of Passover, but life got in the way of any blogging I was to do. I received this recipe from my friend Arona who I used to teach with in Connecticut. This recipe is tasty and healthy and loved by the entire family. I tend to use pecans in place of the traditional walnuts only because of personal preference.

1 apple - cored
1 cup nuts (walnuts or pecans) (whole or ground)
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
2 teaspoons honey
2 Tablespoons red wine

Process (there are 2 methods)
  1. Combine whole ingredients in food processor and pulse until combined. OR
  2. If using ground nuts - the alternative method would be to chop or grate apple coarsely and mix with rest of ingredients. Add wine and blend thoroughly.