DIY - Make Your Own Ricotta and Cream Cheese

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Homemade Ricotta Cheese

I look forward to Shavuos and planning my menu around delicious dairy cuisine. Comforting foods like lasagna, blintzes and cheesecake always draw admiration from friends gathered around our table.

It’s one thing to make homemade blintzes, but who actually makes the cream cheese in the blintz, or, for that matter, the ricotta in the lasagna?

“You did what?” people ask me.

I instantly go from excitement to embarrassingly apologetic because, it takes a lot less time to make ricotta and cream cheese than it takes to go to the store.

Homemade Ricotta Cheese can be made from start to finish in less than half an hour.  Then mix it with some pasta, roasted tomatoes, and shallots for dinner tonight!

The Simplest Cream Cheese Ever the active time is only 3 minutes, but it does have to sit for a few hours to attain the right texture.  Technically, traditional cream cheese is made by adding special starters or cultures to cream. An easier process can be done at home. When whey is slowly strained from yogurt, the result is a thick, spreadable “yogurt cheese” that is just like cream cheese. The strong flavor of this smooth, cream cheese-like schmear, adds a wonderful depth to everything it accompanies. All you need is a quart of yogurt, a strainer, a clean dish towel, a bowl, and you’re in business.

A variety of mix-ins, whether savory (chopped herbs, dried onions, and granulated garlic) or sweet (honey, cinnamon sugar, or pureed berries), can be added to make an endless assortment of homemade cream cheese spreads that will make every bagel addictive.

Reprinted from the Joy of Kosher with Jamie Geller Magazine May/June 2011 - Shavuos Issue