Cottage Cheese, Please

Cottage cheese is my favorite cheese to make at home because it’s the only one I can make without any special tools! All you need is a gallon of milk, a cloth, vinegar, and a little bit of patience. It’s full of protein, low fat, and makes a great addition to breakfast. 

In all honesty, I used to think cottage cheese was gross. When I was little, my mom would plop a mound of it on her plate along with a scoop of pineapple, and it would become this goopy mess. Yuck. Not until a few years ago did I truly give cottage cheese another chance. I found that going the savory route with it (a crack of pepper over garlic bread or with sliced cured meat) was the way to go!

Also, cottage cheese is the same as paneer. That indian cheese you’ll find in your spinach or peas (palak paneer, mattar paneer, respectively) is indeed made in the same process as cottage cheese, it’s just not salted or crumbled. 

And so, cottage cheese, the same cheese known to body builders and little miss muffet (little miss muffet sat on a tuffet, eating her curds and whey) is used all the way across the globe, how cool is that!
Adapted from Alton Brown’s Recipe:

Cottage Cheese

1 gallon 2% milk (I have used 1% milk as well and it works)
3/4 cup white vinegar
1 1/2 teaspoons kosher salt
1/2 cup milk (any fat will do, even half and half)

1. Pour the skim milk into a large saucepan and place over medium heat.

2. Heat to 120 degrees F. 

3. Remove from the heat and gently pour in the vinegar. Stir slowly for 1 to 2 minutes. The curd will separate from the whey.

4. Cover and allow to sit at room temperature for 30 minutes.

5. Pour the mixture into a colander lined with a tea towel and allow to sit and drain for 5 minutes.

6. Gather up the edges of the cloth and rinse under cold water for 3 to 5 minutes or until the curd is completely cooled, squeezing and moving the mixture the whole time. This will remove the vinegar taste.

7. Once cooled, squeeze as dry as possible. At this point, if you leave it, it will become paneer. If you desire cottage cheese, proceed in the next steps. 

8. Transfer to a mixing bowl. Add the salt and stir to combine, breaking up the curd into bite-size pieces as you go. Stir in the milk/cream/half and half.

9. Transfer to a sealable container and place in the refrigerator. Serve any way you’d like, on toast, with tomatoes, with pineapples (ew), or just plain! Enjoy!


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