Homemade Stracciatella 1.000

Deb Lindsey for The Washington Post

DIY Feb 18, 2015

This soft, fresh cheese may be best known as the delicious center of burrata. Stracciatella means "rag," from the Italian word "strattore" (to stretch), and describes the action to make the cheese as well as the way it looks.

For this recipe, use only non-chlorinated water; see the NOTE, below. You’ll need an instant-read thermometer.

Use the best milk available for the most delicious cheese.

Make Ahead: If you need to de-chlorinate the water, you’ll need to leave it out at room temperature overnight. Stracciatella can be refrigerated, covered, for up to 4 days but is best when freshly made.


Servings:
1 pint

When you scale a recipe, keep in mind that cooking times and temperatures, pan sizes and seasonings may be affected, so adjust accordingly. Also, amounts listed in the directions will not reflect the changes made to ingredient amounts.

Tested size: 1 pint

Ingredients
  • 1 pound mozzarella curds (from 1 gallon whole milk; see related recipe)
  • 1 1/2 cups heavy cream
  • 6 tablespoons kosher salt
  • 3 quarts chlorine-free water (see NOTE)

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Directions

Place the drained curds in a large, heavy stainless-steel bowl.

Pour the cream into a second stainless-steel bowl well-seated within a bowl of ice.

Combine the salt and chlorine-free water in a pot; bring to a boil over medium-high heat, then reduce the heat to medium. Once the temperature of the water reaches 185 degrees, turn off the heat. Ladle 1 quart of the hot, salted water into the curds in their bowl; use a flexible spatula to stir them for 2 minutes, then pour off some of the hot water and ladle in another quart of the hot water.

At this point the curds should be shiny and stretchy; you can tell by using the spatula to lift some of them out of the water and pull them, like taffy. If they tear (instead of stretch), put them back in the bowl so they'll continue to warm up in the water, or pour off some of the water in the bowl and add more of the remaining hot, salted water in the pot.

Once the curds are shiny and stretch easily, pull them apart into thin strands, placing them in the separate bowl of cream as you work. Continue the process until all the cheese strands are in the cream. Discard any remaining salted water in the pot.

Stir the strands and cream with a flexible spatula. Use clean kitchen scissors to chop the strands into 1-inch or so pieces; no need to be exact. Stir the strands and cream until they combine, so the cream has been almost completely absorbed.

At this point, the cheese is ready to use, or it can be covered and refrigerated for up to 4 days.

NOTE: To remove chlorine from tap water, let the water sit out, uncovered, overnight. The chlorine, which is a gas, will dissipate.

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Recipe Source

From Matt Adler, executive chef at Osteria Morini in Southeast Washington. Correction: An earlier version of this recipe incorrectly said the restaurant is in Southwest Washington.

Tested by Cathy Barrow.

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