Cooking, Baking, Knitting and meandering through life
Saturday, December 5, 2009
I love this challenge since I have such a stack of old magazines that I'm finally getting around to. If it weren't for the Magazine Mondays, I would still not try all these recipes. Today's recipes come from another issue of donna hay Issue 35. This issue is loaded with recipes for making and using your own ricotta, clotted cream, curd and preserved lemons.
I had tried clotted cream once from a store, expecting a good thick cream to spread on biscuits. It tasted off--not fresh. So, I'm making my own. I put 3 cups of heavy cream in a dish and am leaving it in a 275 oven for 8 hrs. It should be a thick spread good on the scones I plan to make in the morning.
Then I made some ricotta cheese. I've seen various versions of how to make it. This one was the simplest. I just heated 6 cups of whole milk to 176 deg., added 2 Tblsp. white vinegar and let it sit for 5 minutes to form curds. Then I spooned it into a cheesecloth-lined colander and let it drain about 20 minutes. I then picked up the corners of the cheesecloth and twisted them to squeeze out more of the moisture. This ricotta was really sweet and creamy. I loved it.
I used the homemade ricotta for a Ricotta, Pancetta and Pumpkin bake from this magazine. I had enough ricotta for a 1/2 recipe. I combined my 3/4 lb. ricotta with 3/4 cups grated parmesan and 3 eggs. Then I added 4 oz. thawed and drained chopped spinach and 1/4 c. chopped basil along with some salt and pepper. I peeled and sliced, thinly, an 8 oz. piece of butternut squash (this Australian magazine refers to it as butternut pumpkin) and used 6 slices of pancetta. The recipe said to grease a baking dish and layer 1/2 of the squash, 3 slices of pancetta, 1/2 of the cheese mixture and then repeat with the rest. It is baked for 50 minutes at 320 deg.
I don't think I'm a huge fan of pancetta. As I ate this, I thought it was full of flavor--the sweetness of the squash was nice with the savory cheese and herb custard--but I didn't care for the pancetta in it. I kept thinking I'd like it better with really thin ham or with no meat at all. If you like quiches, this might be worth a try.
Expect to see something about Christmas cookies soon!