In Wellman, Iowa, Joanna and Geoff Mouming concocted a fresh take on the traditional barn (making it modern with the help of DeForest Architects) and in their open kitchen, regularly cook up a slew of homemade eats. Here, Joanna, the marketing director for Kalona Organics and Kalona SuperNatural, shares her recipe for fresh ricotta cheese and baked ricotta cheese.
Fresh Ricotta Cheese
Homemade ricotta cheese is a mainstay at Yum Yum Farm. Making it from scratch is easier than you think, and in my recipe buttermilk both serves as the culture and lends amazing flavor to the cheese.
96 ounces whole milk
32 ounces half and half
32 ounces buttermilk
1 teaspoon salt
1. Add all ingredients to a saucepan and heat on medium on stovetop, stirring to prevent the milk from burning.
2. After 10-15 minutes the mixture will steam and then curd. Turn heat down when curds begin to develop and stir for 2 minutes. (Note: the curding appears subtly, but trust your eye as you notice its appearance change).
3. Remove and pour mixture into fine sieve, cheesecloth, or a good-size, clean flour sack towel. Let drain over sink until desired consistency. Treat yourself to a preview while ricotta is still warm (after draining) by spooning a little out and adding a sprinkle of cinnamon, a drizzle of honey, and a few toasted pine nuts on top.
4. Use in recipes as desired.
Baked ricotta, served warm and golden, always wows guests at Yum Yum Farm. It can be made in any volume, just adjust the amount of cheese and herbs then cook in pie plate, ramekin, or whatever dish makes sense.
Chopped savory herb (marjoram, rosemary, or thyme)
1. Oil glass ramekin or pie plate and preheat oven to 375F.
2. Mix drained ricotta with herb of choice and spoon into backing dish. Drizzle olive oil over the top. Add ground pepper if desired.
3. Slip into heated oven and bake until the top develops a nice golden color.
4. Remove from oven, cool just enough to handle and invert onto plate.
5. Slice into wedges and serve as an appetizer or as part of a meal spread.
Read the full story about Joanna and Geoff Mouming's home (the Yum Yum Farm) and see it featured in Dwell's special 100 Kitchens We Love issue, on newsstands April 5, 2011.