The Best Thing to Do With Milk That’s Past Its Prime

While most people would turn their nose up at a glass of milk that’s past its prime, a large percentage of those naysayers would eat a beautifully plated wedge of cheese. So, if you have some past-its-prime milk and you don’t want to waste it, there’s a simple solution: cook it. Ricotta — Italian for “recooked” — is made from whey produced while making pecorino or mozzarella. Cheesemakers simply re-cook previously separated whey until new curds form, then strain it into baskets to produce ricotta. You can use aging milk from your refrigerator, and you can do it with whole and 2% milk; anything lower won’t have enough fat to make curds. A bit of lemon juice or vinegar, a strainer, and a cooking thermometer are the only things you’ll need. It’s a simple process. All you have to do is bring the questionable milk to an almost boil, stir in an acid (lemon juice or vinegar), strain it, and enjoy. Use your finished product as a spread for toast, whip it into scrambled eggs, or dollop it onto pizzas and pasta. You can even use it to make desserts like mousse, cake, cannolis, or even cheesecake.