FRESH HERB RICOTTA
5 litres cow or goat milk 1 tablespoon salt 1 tablespoon chopped parsley
and chives 1 teaspoon thyme or oregano Chilli flakes (optional) 100ml plain white vinegar* Place milk in a saucepan over high heat and bring to 60°C, stirring constantly. Add salt and stir well. Continue stirring until milk reaches 90°C (85°C for goat’s milk). As the milk edges past 90°C, add herbs (and chilli, if using) and vinegar. Stir until flecks of curd begin to appear on the surface. Remove from heat and continue stirring for a few seconds until the liquid turns clear with an almost greenish tinge and the coagulated curds are clearly visible. Allow to sit undisturbed for 5 minutes so that curds can rise to the surface. Using a slotted spoon, scoop curds into a colander, ricotta baskets or cheese moulds and drain over the sink for 30 minutes. Transfer to a bowl or container and refrigerate; the cheese will keep for up to five days. Makes about 2 cups.
* The vinegar will be discarded with the whey, so don’t waste flavoured or imported vinegar on it; cheap white vinegar is best because it has a high acidity level.
For the mould, you don’t need specialty equipment. Any foodgrade plastic item with holes in the base and sides will work well; discount variety stores usually have a good range of small plastic baskets, drainers and strainers.