Sunday, September 26, 2010

Homemade Cottage Cheese

If you thought it requires any special equipment, it doesn't. If you thought it requires any special skill, it doesn't. Making cottage cheese is easy. Too easy. Chefs will always tell you that processes that you would never try at home are actually easy. Like pasta. I tell everyone that homemade pasta is the easiest thing to make. But you really don't know easy until you meet that girl from school, I mean, until you make cottage cheese.


 Bacteria is just so goddamn generous sometimes. Really. Whenever you wanna make cottage cheese, it will shoulder the workload without desire for repayment. And they work frikin fast--my cheese was done in 30 minutes--and don't complain. Such simple creatures are so superior to humans in some ways. Anyway, all the process really entails is heating milk, adding acid, letting cool, straining. Really. I made a mistake however. You are apparently supposed to use skim milk because the curds are more prone to separate. After you make the cheese, then you add heavy cream or half and half to adjust the fat content. I used 1% and my yield seemed small--I got a little over a cup of cheese using a 1/2 gallon of milk--but I wouldn't really know since I've never made it before.
 The product was fresh and clean and refreshing. You ever find that grocery store versions have off tastes?  The homemade version was like a nice ricotta--creamy and light, not thick and gloppy. I'm going to do it again. It's too easy not to.

Ingredients
1) 1/2  gallon skim milk
2) 3 oz lemon juice, white vinegar, or any other type of acid (I used lemon juice and got a nice clean, light lemon flavor)
3) Cheesecloth
4) Thermometer
5) Heavy Cream or Half and Half to adjust consistency

1) Bring Milk to 120 degrees then turn off heat.
2) Add Lemon juice then cover the pan and wait 30 minutes.
--after 30 minutes the milk will have separated into curds and whey. It will look kinda green and gross on top. Don't fret. This is natural.
3) Pour mixture into a colander lined with cheesecloth and drain for five minutes
4) Take the sides of the cheesecloth and squeeze the excess liquid out. Run the cheese under water kneading as you go.
5) Drain the excess water and put cheese in a bowl. Add heavy cream and salt and mix until you reach the desired texture and fat content.
6) Enjoy!

6 comments:

Jason Sandeman said...

This is extremely awesome! I never knew how stupidly easy it was to make, but then again, I make ricotta. I will pull this out for the next time I am short of cottage cheese, for sure!

Molly said...

Making you own cheese rocks. I made feta earlier in the year and it was amazing. Time consuming, but easy peasy.

Cali said...

That's so cool! But how do you make large curds?

Palawan Hotels said...

that's an awesome dish! I never knew that cottage cheese is made like that.

wehotom said...

Gonna have to try this one Nick.

Julie said...

You would get large curds if you used rennet.