Sous Vide Fresh Ricotta Cheese
(Courtesy of Violet Willis, Kilby Ridge Farm, Dennysvile, ME)
- 3 quarts fresh milk (goat, cow, sheep, or combo)
- 6 ounces (180 ml) vinegar
- Fill and preheat the SousVide Supreme water oven to 172F/78C.
- Put the milk into a large (gallon/3.8 liter) zip closure cooking pouch; use the Archimedes Principle to remove most of the air and zip the seal.
- Submerge the pouch in the water bath and cook for 30 minutes until the milk is heated through.
- Open the pouch and add the vinegar. Stir gently and reseal the pouch.
- Continue to cook in the pouch for 15 minutes more.
- Remove the pouch from the water bath, open, and collect the curd that has floated to the top with a slotted spoon.
- Transfer the curd to a fine mesh sieve or colander, lined with four layers of cheesecloth and let it drain for about an hour.
- Enjoy the fresh cheese warm with a drizzle of honey or transfer to a tightly sealed container and refrigerate for several days.
Sous Vide Chile con Queso Tradicionale
Makes about 1-1/2 cups (360ml) (to multiply, make separate batches of this recipe each in its own pouch)
- 2 tablespoons (60 ml) lard or, if you prefer, high-smoke point vegetable oil
- 1/2 onion, peeled and finely diced
- 1 tomato, stemmed, seeded, and diced
- 10 large roasted green chile peppers, seeded and chopped
- 1/2 cup (60 g) shredded queso asadero (white Mexican cheese)
- 1/2 cup (60 g) shredded pepper jack cheese
- 1/4 cup (60 ml) milk
- 1/2 teaspoon (2.5 ml) ground paprika
- 1/4 teaspoon (1.25 ml) salt or to taste
- 3 or 4 dashes Cholula or Tabasco hot sauce or to taste (optional for those who like it hotter!)
- Fill and preheat the SousVide Supreme water oven to 160F/71C.
- On the stovetop, heat the lard or oil in a skillet over medium heat.
- Add the onion and tomato and saute until the onion has become translucent, about 5 minutes.
- Add the green chile and continue to cook for another 2 minutes. Remove from the heat and allow the vegetables to cool for a few minutes.
- Put the cheeses, milk, cooled pepper mixture and seasonings into a zip-closure cooking pouch. Press out most of the air with your hands and zip the seal. (Do not attempt to vacuum seal liquids using a suction vacuum sealer. It’s not critical to completely remove the air, because you are just melting, not cooking.)
- Submerge in the water oven for about 20 minutes to fully melt the cheese. Remove the pouch and massage the contents periodically to mix.
- Pour the queso into a warm serving bowl and enjoy with chips. (Keep any remaining dip hot and fresh in its zip pouch, submerged in the water bath.)
Sous Vide Pale Ale Spinach Cheese Dip
Makes about 8 servings (multiplies easily for bigger crowds)
- 1 pound (456 g) cream cheese, cubed
- 2 ounces (57 g) smoked Gouda, grated
- 4 ounces (120 ml) Firestone Union Jack IPA (or your favorite)
- 1/2 cup (25 g) fresh baby spinach leaves, well-washed and chopped
- 1/2 medium red bell pepper, stemmed, seeded, and diced, plus some for garnish if desired
- 1 garlic clove, peeled and pressed
- 1 tablespoon (15 ml) Dijon mustard
- 1 teaspoon (5 ml) Herbes de Provence
- 1 teaspoon (5 ml) salt
- 1/2 teaspoon (2.5 ml) white pepper
- 1 sourdough round loaf (optional) for serving
- Fill and preheat the SousVide Supreme to 180F/82C.
- Put all ingredients into a small (quart/0.9 liter) zip-closure cooking pouch.
- Use the displacement method (Archimedes Principle) to remove the air from the pouch and zip the seal.
- Submerge the pouch and cook for 30 minutes to 1 hour, until the cheese has fully melted. Intermittently remove the pouch from the water bath and massage the contents through the pouch to combine and return pouch to water bath.
- With a bread knife, remove the top from the loaf of bread, if using, and hollow out the middle to make a bread bowl. Tear the interior bread into bite-sized pieces for dipping.
- When fully melted, pour dip into the bread bowl or a serving dish and top with additional red pepper garnish for color; serve with torn bread, crostini, toast points, or chips. Or drizzle onto tortilla chips with your favorite accompaniments for nachos. (Hint: Use what you need for serving and leave remainder in the water oven, in its zip pouch, to stay warm without growing a ‘skin’!)