Friday, July 25, 2008

Homemade Carabao (buffalo) Milk Ricotta

title
I am quite pleased. Really, smug as a bug with a jug (or however you want to say it). I feel light, happy, content.

I made cheese.

No, not some hunk of aged goodness that was made to sleep for months in order to develop layers of complexity. But certainly a step above my straining yogurt! This time, I strained curds...curds that I can say I coaxed into being all on my own. Innocent looking, soft, dreamy, blindingly white curds. Curds a certain Miss Muffet would love to have. You see I used carabao’s milk (carabao is our native water buffalo). It contains less water, more total solids, more fat (50-60% more!), and more protein than cow’s milk!

Nestled in cheesecloth, these super-rich curds looked so the embodiment of tranquility that I wanted to curl up beside them in a tuffet and take a nap.

Ahem. Back in the real world, there was work to do and dinner to make, so I gathered the cheesecloth and made a makeshift drainer (tied the cheesecloth with cooking string and tied the ends to the handle of a small bucket so the cheesecloth with the curds were held suspended in mid-air while the curds drained in the bucket – it doesn’t make sense I know but Mcgyver would be proud) and placed it in the fridge. And while I worked all day, my happy thought was my homemade carabao’s milk ricotta, tucked away and ready for breakfast the next day.

Ricotta
(from Donna Hay Magazine issue 35, page 153)

  • 6 cups full cream milk (I used carabao/buffalo milk)
  • 2 tablespoons white vinegar

- Place the milk in a sauce pan and heat until it reaches 80C (use a candy thermometer). When it reaches 80C, remove from the heat and add the vinegar. Allow to sit for 5-10 minutes or until curds form (mine took longer than 10 minutes).
- Line a colander with fine muslin or cheesecloth and place over a bowl. Using a slotted spoon carefully ladle the curds into the colander. Allow to drain for 5-10 minutes.
- Spoon ricotta into a glass or ceramic container and cover with plastic wrap. Store in the fridge for up to 1 week. (I kept mine in the draining contraption I put together until the next day)

The recipe didn’t yield as much curds as I hoped it would, but they were rich and creamy and delicious. I had it for breakfast on a thick slice of sunflower bread, topped with fig preserves. The lack of a tuffet to sit on did not detract one bit from the heavenly experience of eating my own homemade ricotta.

Next time I’ll be trying this recipe...also done here. I hope this method of heating buttermilk and regular milk together will give me more curds to enjoy :)

We escape the muggy city tonight with a group of good friends for a weekend of relaxing by the pool, easing some well-deserved cocktails into our work-worn bodies, and, of course, enjoying good food. I may even find myself a comfy tuffet in which I can burrow with a good book :) Happy weekend everyone!

34 comments:

Barbara said...

Oooh I so have to try this. Thanks for the idea Miss Muffet.

Manggy said...

Gosh, I can't believe I still have a tip to give for this! Hee hee :) You might consider using an additional tablespoon of vinegar. Also, excessive stirring can break up the curds too much. I can't wait to see what other treats you'll make from this-- a ricotta cheesecake, perhaps? Lasagna? Yum!! Imagine that, real water buffalo ricotta! Eat yer hearts out, Americanos!

By the way, I tried the mozzarella from Rizal farms (or was it DVF?) from their stall in Market! Market. It was quite good! A far cry from the disappointing gray stuff that marketman documented a few years back.

Dhanggit said...

i'll tell my grandmom to make cheese using your recipes..that way the carabaos in their field will have other delicious purpose :-)

Marvin said...

Now THAT is impressive! I could only imagine how much more creamy carabao's milk is than cow's milk. I wish I would have thought to try some when I was over that way.

I wonder if you can make yourself some carabao mozzarella? Then you can really put together a nice lasagna with the ricotta and mozzarella!

Enjoy the weekend, joey.

[eatingclub] vancouver || js said...

Congratulations! Your ricotta will surely be a treat. I can't wait to see what yummy recipes you'll use the ricotta in. . .I'm all anticipation.

Honeybee said...

Wow, well done! I recently made sheep's milk ricotta and it turned out very nice, too!

Patricia Scarpin said...

Joey, you keep tempting me with the recipes from that cheese article! :)
I have to make them too!!

Maven said...

I just LOVE your blog! So glad I found it, I love buffalo mozzarella and can only imagine how good this ricotta must be.

Manggy said...

Just to add to what Marvin said-- rennin tablets used for the production of mozzarella can be found at University of the Philippines Los Banos, 3 hours south of here. Ouch. I think from the Microbio lab. Or was it agriculture? Maybe the campus here has some, I dunno. But it looks like another project if you have friends who regularly go to Laguna :)

Tartelette said...

Ehehe! I just made my dad's favorite cheese/dairy with raw cow's milk the other day. Dairy=good / cheese=better!
Isn't it wonderful when we make such things as cheese, bread, etc...Well done!

lalaine said...

Oh! Your post had me missing terribly the pastillas made with carabao's milk that my hometown is known for (Tarlac). I wanna gooo home!

Anh said...

Hat off to you, Jo! What an achievement!!! I would love to try this some days.

mtan said...

Bravo Jo Muffet! I'll hand over the cheesemaking duties in our fantasy farm over to you. We'll need a carabao herd!

Katrina said...

*gasps in awe*

I am exceedingly impressed! And excited...I've always wanted to have a cheesemonger friend! ;-)

Ipshi said...

That's how we make paneer at home! *gasp. I love your blog and the amazing insight it gives me into my own homeland's cuisine! how cool, mayeb ud think that funny but true, also we often use lemon juice

Veron said...

Well, I am proud of you making cheese. Congrats! Oohhh.... and I'm sure it is so flavorful with the carabao's milk!

Christie @ fig & cherry said...

Jealous! Such a successful attempt! it's given me the kick I need to try it too. Thanks!

Anonymous said...

is ricotta and kesong puti the same???? coz thats how we make kesong puti in gapan, n.e.

ChichaJo said...

Hi Barbara! You are very welcome :) It’s so easy and you can make as much or as little as you wont (so you won’t have any spoilage) :)

Hi Manggy! Hahaha :) Thanks as always for your words of wisdom :) They are very much appreciated! This batch didn’t yield as much as I would need for lasagne or cake...but I did have a very big tartine for breakfast...hehe :) Rizal Farms’ Greek Yogurt is fantastic...try it! And I’ll try the mozzarella :)

Hi Dhanggit! Lucky her to have a field of them! :)

Hi Marvin! First I would have to figure out how to make mozzarella! Hehe :) This is dead easy and nothing like the labor involved in making your own longanisa!

Hi JS! It’s all gone...I didn’t have enough for many yummy recipes...but I’ll be making more for sure! :)

Hi Honeybee! Oooh! I’m sure it was delicious!

Hi Patricia! I loved that whole dairy/cheese feature!

Hi Maven! Thanks so much for your nice words :)

Hi Manggy! Thanks for the tip! Although I don’t know when I can make it out there...they have all the carabao’s milk products there right?

Hi Helene! Yes, it is wonderful in this very basic/primal way :) I love it!

Hi Lalaine! Yes, those pastillas are good! Carabao’s milk rocks!

Hi Anh! It’s very easy and so satisfying at the same time :)

Hi M! Cheese-making and pig-caring :) Don’t forget the goats!

Hi Katrina! Haha! It was super easy...really, you just need a candy thermometer :)

Hi Ipshi! I love paneer!!! Yay! What a thrill that I kinda made it by accident! Will try this with lemon juice too :) I love learning about the similarities between cuisines that seem so far apart at first...same thing with people! :)

Hi Veron! Thank you! I want to put the milk in everything...even my cereal!

Hi Christie! Try it! It’s so easy to make and leaves you feeling nice and peaceful inside :)

Hi Anonymous! I don’t know if ricotta and kesong puti are the same, although they are both fresh white cheeses...but I am beyond thrilled to find out that I actually made kesong puti!

Erin said...

I have been wanting to do this!I think I'll wait for fall though, cooler kitchen and all.

Poonam said...

You made this at home? I have to try this. And it is such a simple recipe to follow.

ChichaJo said...

Hi Erin! My kitchen is never cooler...sigh, wish I had a Fall!

Hi Poonam! It’s very simple! Let me know if you get to try it :)

katiez said...

It was THAT easy????
Wow, I am duly impressed and jealous. I have to try this... no buffalo milk tho... and no tuffet...
I'm still jealous!

ChichaJo said...

Hi Katiez! YES, that easy! I will trade the buffalo milk and tuffet for your wonderful garden/farm...or maybe I could just bring them over :)

White On Rice Couple said...

Ooohhhh, what a great idea with the buffalo milk. We make ricotta with regular cow's milk, but will for sure try to make our next batch with the buffalo milk!

ChichaJo said...

Hi there WOR Couple! :) Next time I will use raw buffalo's milk...

Anonymous said...

Hi Joey,

6 cups of milk yielded how many cups of ricotta cheese? What did you do with the whey?

thanks,
CG (Candygirl :)

Jude said...

I wish I could get carabao milk around here - I pretty much grew up weaned on that stuff.

ChichaJo said...

Hi CG! Like I mentioned in the post, it didn’t yield too much...just about a half a cup :( I’m actually trying to figure out what to do to make more curds...so if you have any tips please share! :) That goes for things to do with the whey as well...I had no idea what to do with it!

Hi Jude! I really count myself blessed to have it readily available here fresh...I vow not to take it for granted as I did when I was younger!

Anonymous said...

hi. i live in the baguio area, do you know where i can find buffalo/carabao's milk here? and rennet also? im really interested in making mozarella cheese

ChichaJo said...

Hi Anonymous! I live in Manila so I'm not quite familiar with buying supplies in the Baguio area...although I'm sure there is carabao's milk to be had there :) Now rennet I don' even know where to get that over here! If you find any let me know! :)

Organic Spices said...

Awesome remedy recipes - thanks!

RebFar said...

Would love to know where you can buy the buffalo milk. It's impossible to find in Seattle, WA!

Thank you!

ChichaJo said...

Hi Rebfar! Over here we have a local water buffalo whose milk is wonderfully rich and delicious! I usually get them from farmers’ cooperatives or local producers :)