My first attempt at ricotta cheese was VERY successful. I wanted to make real cannoli from scratch. I found the tubes for making the shells and then decided to go all the way. The truth is I recently decided to try Indian cuisine and bought some paneer cheese at the produce/ethnic market. It was expensive (to me) so when I saw on the net that it’s easy to make I decided to try but have wanted to make cannoli for years. So I had to make the ricotta first. This has opened up a whole new area of interest. How do you use the whey? That’s the leftover liquid from the cheese making process. And once I get the supplies, I want to make cheese curds since you can’t find them around here. And then there’s the hummus I’ve become addicted to. My spice cabinet and shelves are getting full with the latest Indian, Latin and Asian foods that I have been experimenting with. I decide on something I want to make, read 15 or 20 recipes on the web and then change them to meet my taste. I started with Paula Deen’s chicken cheese empanadas recipe and added about 8 items, found a crust recipe I like better than the pie crust that a lot of people use and now I love them. They went over really good at my nieces baby shower too. You can tell that I started with Paula’s recipe, but it no longer resembles hers after the main ingredients. Reading the reviews really helps me a lot. Next time I make them, I will post them also but it’s cannoli first. With the cannoli I used Alex Guarneschelli’s recipe from Food Network (link at bottom) and it is an excellent recipe. The only thing is I don’t like quite so much cinnamon and I used Marsala instead of white wine because that’s what most recipes call for, I had it and I don’t drink so I couldn’t taste it til after they were cooked and the alcohol was burned off. They came out great and that is how I will make them from now on….til I get a wild hair, feel like a change or just get bored. This is a simple example the next one is samosas and there are quite a few more changes. Make changes til they come out the way YOU want them too taste.
Alex’s Cannoli http://www.foodnetwork.com/recipes/alexandra-guarnaschelli/homemade-cannoli-recipe.html
10 min from the start of the project the ricotta was draining. After an hour I tied off the cheese cloth , hung it from the handle of a heavy glass bowl and put it in the fridge over night. By morning I had a very thick, creamy and rich ricotta. I whisked the ricotta, added the flavorings and folded in the whipped cream. Dipped the shells in melted chips and cream and then chopped pistachios. They were great, but I did it all again a few days later except for the shells. The recipe made enough that all I had to do was make more filling. This time I left out just a little more cinnamon. I used just under 3/4 of a tsp. and just a tad more lemon zest. Like I said, it is a good recipe, but I just can’t leave it alone til it is just how I like it. This is a simple one but they are all fun.