Three ingredients -- that's all it takes: whole milk, salt, and lemon. Three little ingredients that you probably have in your house right now and a tiny bit of know-how is all it takes to make your own cheese. I love that moment of discovery when you realize that you can make something that you usually buy. Collect these things and meet me in the kitchen:
chopstick (or wooden spoon)
1/2 gallon of whole milk (not ultra-pasteurized)
1 lemon (juiced)
pinch of salt
two whole sprigs of rosemary
Pour the milk into a large pot and set it on the stove, and add the sprigs of rosemary. Set the eye on very low. You want to slowly bring the milk up around room temperature. Add a pinch of salt and set the eye on high. At this point you want to bring the milk to a boil. Stir it to ensure that the milk does not scorch. Once you achieve a nice rolling, frothy boil hit it with the lemon juice. You will be amazed. The curds grab on to one another. You will see the milk separate into the whey, a yellowy liquid, and the curds, solid white chunks. Let the mixture sit for about 10 minutes to cool and to make certain that all of the curds have gathered up. Remove the rosemary. Line a strainer with cheesecloth and pour the mixture through. Tie the cheesecloth over a chopstick and hang the cheese suspended inside of a large bowl. This will allow it to drain. After one hour in the fridge cut open the cheesecloth and place your cheese in an airtight container. It will keep about 5-7 days in the fridge.
I used mine to stuff some ravioli. I made green dough by blanching some arugula, squeezing it dry and blending it with my dry flour. I then added three egg yolks and proceeded as normal. The sauce is simply a head of roasted garlic mixed with olive oil and one diced tomato. It was wonderful.