Homemade Ricotta sounds like a lot of work, I know, but trust me it is actually pretty darned easy. If you rinse the pot with cold water before pouring in the milk it will save you some serious cleanup. The reserved liquid whey can go into soups, stews and curries. It can also be used to cook pasta and rice. The liquid whey will keep in the refrigerator for up to 3 days.
1 Gallon High Quality Organic Whole Milk
2 Teaspoons Kosher Salt
1/3 Cup Fresh Lemon Juice (Typically 1 Large Lemon)
You will need a large colander for this recipe. Line the colander with a layer of cheesecloth and place it over a large bowl (to save the whey). Wet the cheesecloth to hold it firmly in place. To make the ricotta you will need a large heavy pot. Rinse the pot with cold water before pouring in the milk. Bring the milk and salt to a gentle simmer over a medium high heat. Stir in the lemon juice and continue to simmer gently for 2 minutes. You want the curds to begin to form and float to the top. They will first look like spatters of white and then gather into soft clumps that look like little clouds. You will see the liquid begin to clear of cloudiness and the curds firming up, but not hard. This is when you need to scoop them out with a slotted spoon. Let the curds drain thoroughly in the colander. If the curds are very soft press gently to extract just a little of the moisture, but do not squeeze dry as you don’t want to dry out the cheese. Transfer your homemade ricotta to a large bowl. Cover and chill for 2 hours. Make 1 1/2 pounds.
This vinaigrette is one of the most versatile vinaigrettes. It keeps well for several weeks in the refrigerator. It is delicious on salads, in stir fry dishes and as a marinade for seafood, chicken or beef.
3/4 Cup Vegetable Oil
1/4 Cup Rice Wine Vinegar
1 Tablespoon Finely Minced Fresh Ginger
1 Minced Garlic Clove
Zest of 1 Orange
1/4 Cup Fresh Orange Juice
1 Teaspoon Toasted Sesame Oil
1 Teaspoon Soy Sauce
1/4 Teaspoon Kosher Salt
1/4 Teaspoon Freshly Ground Pepper
Combine all of the ingredients except the salt and pepper in a small bowl. Whisk together and season with the salt and pepper. Set aside or refrigerate until ready to use. Makes 1 cup.
Is there anyone who doesn’t love a good salsa? This salsa can be made as hot or mild as you want it. Serve it with chips as an appetizer or as an accompaniment to eggs, tacos or grilled meats and fish.
4 Ripe Plum Tomatoes
1 Ripe Slicing Tomato
3/4 Cup Chopped Onion
1/2 Cup Chopped Fresh Cilantro
3 Seeded & Minced Jalapeno Peppers
1 Teaspoon Kosher Salt
Coarsely chop the tomatoes and put into a medium size bowl. Chop the onion into fine pieces and add to the tomatoes. Add the cilantro, jalapeno peppers and salt. Toss to mix. Refrigerate for 1 hour or more before serving. Makes 2 cups.
No cooking is required for this delightfully healthful dish!
2 Large Juicy Ripe Tomatoes
3 Handfuls of Fresh Basil Leaves
6 Garlic Cloves
½ Cup Olive Oil
2 Tablespoons Pine Nuts
½ Teaspoon Kosher Salt
½ Teaspoon Freshly Ground Pepper
Parmesan Cheese To Garnish
Mix all of the ingredients, except for the cheese, in a blender or food processor and puree. Pour over fresh, hot spaghetti or your favorite pasta that is cooked al dente. Top with grated Parmesan cheese.
Victoria’s Herb Olive Oil
Some people don’t like tomato sauce on their pizza or they just like to mix it up a bit. Italians call pizza made without tomato sauce “pizza bianco,” which means white pizza. It’s very tasty and far from bland. Brush this hearty mixture over your dough before topping with your favorite toppings. You may also drizzle Herb Olive Oil over tomatoes, shrimp, and clams or on top of your pizza.
1 Cup Olive Oil
1 ½ Teaspoon Garlic Powder
1 Tablespoon Dried Basil
1 Tablespoon Dried Parsley
1 Teaspoon Dried Oregano
1 Teaspoon Dried Rosemary
1 Teaspoon Dried Crushed Red Pepper
½ Teaspoon Spanish Paprika
½ Teaspoon Dried Thyme
1 Teaspoon Kosher Salt
½ Teaspoon Freshly Ground Black Pepper
In a medium size bowl whisk all of the ingredients together for about 30 seconds. Pour into your favorite bottle or jar. Let the herbs steep in the oil for at least 1 hour before using. Before using shake well because the herbs will have settled. Store tightly covered in a cool dark place for up to two weeks. Make 1 cup.
This frosting is so easy to make and quite versatile. You can even dip strawberries into it.
9 Ounces Chopped Bittersweet Chocolate
1 Cup Heavy Cream
1 Tablespoon Dark Rum (Optional)
In a medium size bowl place the chopped chocolate. Heat the heavy cream in a small saucepan over a medium heat. Bring the cream just to a boil. Make sure to watch very carefully. When the cream has come to a boil pour it over the chopped chocolate. Whisk until nice and smooth. Stir in the rum if you like. Allow the ganache to cool slightly before pouring over your cake. Always start at the center of the cake and work outward. If you want a fluffy frosting or chocolate filling just allow it to cool until thick and then whip with a whisk or electric mixer until light and fluffy. Makes 2 Cups.
Rodeo Barbecue Sauce
Once the sauce comes to a boil, it is important to cook it over moderate heat to prevent burning.
2 Cups Ketchup
1 Quart Water
1 Cup Cider Vinegar
¼ Cup Worcestershire Sauce
Juice of 1 Large Lemon
¼ Cup Dark Brown Sugar
¼ Cup Chili Powder
2 Tablespoons Paprika
3 Cloves Garlic (Pressed or Mashed)
1 Teaspoon Kosher Salt
Combine all of the ingredients in a pot. Bring to a slow, rolling boil and cook for 30 minutes until thickened. Stir constantly to prevent the sauce from scorching. Move a small strainer through the sauce to remove the garlic. Throw the garlic away and refrigerate the sauce in a covered container for two days for the flavors to blend. Makes 4 ½ cups.
Homemade Barbecue Sauce
Why buy bottled barbecue sauce when it’s so easy to make your own?!
2 Strips Chopped Bacon
3 Tablespoons Minced Green Bell Pepper
1 Minced Onion
1 Chopped Garlic Clove
1 Teaspoon Salt
1 Teaspoon Chili Powder
½ Cup Vinegar
½ Cup Packed Brown Sugar
1 Cup Tomato Juice
½ Cup Water
Brown the bacon in a medium saucepan over a medium heat. Add the green peppers, onions, garlic and water. Simmer for 10 minutes. Add the salt, chili powder, vinegar, brown sugar and tomato juice. Cook over a medium low heat for 40 minutes. Makes 1 ½ cups.
2 (28 Ounce Each) Cans Crushed Plum Tomatoes
1/3 Cup Olive Oil
2 Thinly Slice Garlic Cloves
10 Chopped Basil Leaves or 1 Tablespoon Dried
½ Teaspoon Sea Salt
¼ Teaspoon Freshly Ground Pepper
Heat the oil in a saucepan and add the garlic, salt and pepper. Cook slowly on low for 5 minutes. Add the remaining ingredients and bring to a simmer. Make sure to stir often. Cook for 30 minutes and serve over pasta or as a dipping sauce. Serves 4
Pesto Rosso (red pesto) is a Sicilian red sauce made out of sun dried tomatoes and is also called Pesto alla Siciliana. This sauce is great on pasta as well as bruschetta. Serve with seafood or poultry. Pesto Rosso is definitely a very versatile sauce.
1/3 Cup Chopped Water Packed Sun Dried Tomatoes (Drained)
2 Garlic Cloves
6 Fresh Basil Leaves
1 Garlic Clove
1 C up Fresh Basil Leaves
¼ Cup Olive Oil
1/3 Cup Parmesan Cheese
¼ Teaspoon Salt
¼ Teaspoon Freshly Ground Pepper
In a medium size sauce pan add the drained sun dried tomatoes, 2 cloves of garlic and 6 basil leaves. Cover with 1/3 cup of water and bring to a boil. Turn off the heat and let stand for 25 minutes. In a food processor or a blender place 1 cup basil leaves, olive oil, 1 garlic clove, Parmesan cheese, salt and pepper. Pulse until the mixture resembles a paste. Next, drain the tomato mixture and add to the food processor and finely chop. The sauce is now ready to use. If you are using as a pasta sauce you may want to thin the sauce with ½ cup of reserved pasta cooking water. Makes enough sauce for 1 pound of pasta. Serves 4