Tom Colicchio's Crostini w/ Roasted Tomatoes & Fresh Ricotta Recipe and Photo courtesy of our favorite Top Chef judge, Chef Colicchio from Eat Drink or Die…
2 quarts whole milk
Half a cup of heavy cream
1 tsp. animal rennet*
or 1 tbsp. lemon juice mixed with ¼ cup of water
*Rennet is an enzyme from calves that causes cheese curds to form from milk. It can be purchased online (we got ours from www.cheesemaking.com ) or at high-end groceries, like Whole Foods.
If you can't or don't want to use Rennet, substitute lemon juice instead.
Roasted Tomatoes from original recipe
Roasted Garlic Cloves from original recipe
1 Loaf of crusty bread (ciabatta or similar) sliced
Mix milk and heavy cream in a saucepan over medium heat and bring to 200˚.
(Don't allow the milk to heat above 200˚, or curds will be too small.)
Stir gently with whisk occasionally to keep milk from scorching, and skim off any foam or scum that forms on the surface with a spoon or ladle.
When the milk reaches 200˚, pour it into the stainless container/bowl set into the bain-marie. Chill mixture to 125˚.
Transfer mixture to another saucepan and add the rennet/water mix or the lemon juice. Stir and allow to rest for about 15 minutes, or until mixture starts to firm up.
Cut an X in the cheese and gently stir to break up the curds. Ladle the curds into a bowl lined with cheesecloth. Drain liquid, and set ricotta aside for use in assembling crostini.
Cut a loaf of crusty bread (i.e. ciabatta or similar) into slices.
Heat skillet or cast-iron pan with olive oil and one or two of the roasted garlic cloves from original recipe. When pan is hot (not smoking) add the bread and toast on both sides until golden.
Remove bread from pan and spread with some mashed garlic from original recipe. Lay a roasted tomato on each slice of bread. Lay a generous tablespoon of ricotta on each slice alongside the tomato. Finish with a drizzle of extra-virgin olive oil, salt, pepper, and some torn fresh basil