FRESH HERB RI­COTTA

The Weekend Australian - Magazine - - LIFE - Ta­mara New­ing is an Aus­tralian ar­ti­san cheese­maker, cook, teacher and au­thor of sev­eral cook­books. Edited ex­tract from Curd & Crust: Ar­ti­san Cheese and Bread Mak­ing by Ta­mara New­ing (New Hol­land, $35). Pho­tog­ra­phy: Rochelle Seator

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.

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