Thursday, June 30, 2011

Recipe of the Month ~ Cottage Cheese

Hello to all of you readers!  I hope this day finds you doing well.

Although this is very late, it is none the less our recipe of the month post.  We would like to share with all of you our new-found cottage cheese recipe.  I know that may sound somewhat complicated, but really it is very easy and fun.  We have been making buttermilk and butter for quite some time, but with dairy products typically being rather expensive, we recently have wanted to expand to making cottage cheese, cream cheese, and sour cream as well.  We decided to venture with the cottage cheese first.  A friend of ours shared her easy recipe with Mom (Thanks Mrs. S.), and we have made it three times since then and it is wonderful!  It has very good flavor.  It works well in lasagna, and a friend who tried it said it was wonderful with fruit as well.  She thought it was just as good as store bought, maybe better.  So, here is the recipe step by step, with pictures so you get a better idea of what it's suppose to look like.

You will need:
1 gallon of milk
1/4 cup white vinegar
1 tsp. salt
1 cup of cream 

*Note - This recipe makes about 24 oz. of cottage cheese.*  

First, you are going to heat your milk to 185 degrees.  Make sure you stir it often so that it doesn't scorch on the bottom:-)  I like to use a spoon that is flat on the bottom for this reason.

Once the milk has reached 185 degrees, turn off the heat and pour in the 1/4 cup of vinegar.  Do not stir!  You can give your spoon one or two really slow, half slides across the pan, but nothing more.  If you stir it, it will break the curds too small, and it will end up like ricotta.

Now you are going to let it sit for about an hour.  As it sits you will start to see the whey (the clearer liquid) separate from the curds, which will be mostly in one solid mass, as shown above.

Now you are ready to drain off the whey.  You can just dump it down the kitchen drain, or you can save it to use in bread or to pour on the garden for added nutrients.  To drain the whey, you will want to pour it through a colander lined with cheesecloth, flour-sack towel, or a thin napkin.  The thinner the cloth the better, otherwise you will have trouble getting the liquid to drain off of the curds.      

As you can see from the picture above, we find it easiest to drain the whey into a bowl large enough to hold up our colander.

Next, squeeze all the remaining whey out.  (The picture above is not actually how it is suppose to work.  I used too thick of a napkin that time.  Usually it drains out easier than that.)  After you squeeze the rest of the whey out, you will be left with a solid mass of cheese.  ( Not everyone agrees with me on this one, but I think the cottage cheese is really good warm, so if you're inclined to agree, trying a little at this point would be a treat :-)

Now you want to rinse the cheese with cold water, so that it does not get sour tasting as it sits in the fridge.  As I rinse it, I like to break the cheese apart a little so that the still hot inside can cool as well.  You will want to rinse it a couple of times.

Squeeze all the water out with your hands after you are done rinsing to make sure there is no liquid left in the cheese.

Your cheese should look something like this when you're done.

The next step is to break up the cottage cheese into small pieces (a little smaller than bite-size but larger than typical cottage cheese size, as it will break up more as you stir it). 

Next, stir in the teaspoon of salt. 


 Then, add the cup of cream and stir well.

Now it looks like real cottage cheese!

Now all you have to do is pour it into a container of your choice and...

 Walla!  The finished product!  Does that look real or what!  And no, this cottage cheese did not come from Meijer.
There you have it!  Now you know how to make delicious, homemade cottage cheese!  We hope that you will try it and enjoy it!

1 comment:

  1. Wow! I think I could actually do this. Does your milk have to be raw?