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pizza with homemade dough and cheese

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ricottaWhat is better than magic? Homemade ricotta. Two quarts of milk in a stainless steel pot, heated until almost boiling, slug of vinegar, done! First I tried using lemon juice and it wasn’t really working. The vinegar reacted instantaneously. I bought a very fine mesh steamer, set it over a bowl, and ladled on the curds. I was left with two cups of extremely delicious ricotta. What to do?


Maybe pizza isn’t the first thing that comes to mind, but living in the Land of the Morning Calm is living in the Land of the Minimal Cheese. I found a tiny and flavorless hunk of cheddar for $9. Pizza cheese comes exclusively in a bag. Actually “pizza cheese” is probably ok. But I wanted to try my ricotta!

Sign of the apocalypse: “pizza two ways”


For dough, I decided to use this recipe from Smitten Kitchen instead of the one I linked to from Peter Reinhart or 101 Cookbooks, mostly because I didn’t want to wait overnight. Consulting the advice (also from Smitten Kitchen) about grill pans, I stretched my dough into an imperfect rectangle, stuck it on the oiled grill pan, and stretched it some more to fit the pan. Even so, the dough was uneven. But delicious! After two minutes I brushed the top with oil, flipped it over, and assembled my pre-cooked and warm toppings. First a layer of caramelized onions. Then, half with a sliced tomato grilled with oregano and basil. The other half received a fig grilled in a bit of honey. Finally, ricotta everywhere. I swear this was before reading today’s New York Times recipe about a caramelized onion and fig tart with rosemary and stilton. But here is a more delicious version of fig pizza that I used for inspiration: fig and prosciutto pizza with walnuts, rosemary, and ricotta. If only I could find/make prosciutto and rosemary! Also, my pizza was much GREENER than it should have been, apparently. But what to do when you grab the last box of figs of summer and the skin is already broken? The figgy taste was absolutely present though.

(Do you ever get that feeling where, you know, you’re on the internet and you look around and everyone is making their own ricotta? That is how I felt yesterday. I read so very many different ricotta recipes that I was a little bit intimidated. Then I realized that chemistry is chemistry and that ricotta merely consisted of milk, acid, and heat. In addition to the recipes I linked to the other day, this from Eggs on Sunday is a good guide… even though my ricotta didn’t look anything like the picture.)


Written by clace

September 30, 2009 at 4:44 am

hey students what sound does a cow make?

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When I lived in Serbia this summer I barely ate anything aside from plums and dairy products. My host family had four cows but only one was producing milk at the moment. The 11-person household, including myself and another WWOOFer, was so large that we had to eat in shifts, yet that one cow produced more milk than we could handle. A typical breakfast or dinner consisted of bread, jam, shaved bits of dried meat, and: swiss cheese, soft cheese, herbed soft cheese, milk, sourmilk, butter, young butter, clotted cream, and yogurt.

This is basically what all my meals aspire to now. In Korea, yogurt is a little too expensive ($5 for 750 mL) for me to drink regularly, so I have decided to make my own dairy products. Cheese is a must because very little cheese is sold here. One day when I craved apples with cheddar I had to buy a packet of Kraft singles!

Yogurt: WikiHow

Labneh: WikiHow

Ricotta: Mock from ZenKimchi101 CookbooksWikiHow

Written by clace

September 27, 2009 at 6:46 am