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Ricotta or Requeson with Beans

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In the kitchen

I don't want to sound like a broken record but this trick turns a very good bowl of beans into something to remember.

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Ricotta is a simple, easy to make, cheese that's fine commercially but sublime when you make it yourself of have a good source. I've never made cheese beyond yogurt cheese but Mary Karlin's new book, Artisan Cheese Making at Home has me pretty excited about the possibilities.

The Mexican technique is to fry the cheese with onion, garlic, jalapeño or serrano chiles and fresh epazote. A blob of this into a bowl of beans is great. In Hidalgo, it's not rare to add some boiled cactus paddles as well. I've been using this spread as a filling in quesadillas and even as part of the mix in scrambled eggs. You could easily make it more European by omitting the chiles and epazote and adding thyme or even rosemary. I think a plop on some pasta with tomato sauce would be great.



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