Monday, October 19, 2009
Yes, I have embarked on another cheesy adventure! When Natashya suggested we make Cottage Cheese this month, I was a little bit hesitant. I actually don't really like cottage cheese. I know, I know. "Don't like" and "cheese" in the same sentence spoken by me is almost taboo! There's always just been something about it that I had a hard time stomaching. I don't know if it was the texture or the flavor, or what...it just was. But after thinking on it for a few minutes, I knew that we should definitely make Cottage Cheese. I mean...it's good to step out of your comfort zone and try things in a different way, right!? You may recall that I started another blog devoted just to my (and yours...hint hint) cheese making. It's called forging fromage and we're going to pick a different cheese to make every month (or so). Yes, I decided that my love affair with cheese should be aired out for the world to potentially see. I am putting out a call for other closet cheese lovers...or those others already out of the closet. Please join us! You don't have to participate every month...just follow along and hopefully learn something new or work up the courage to make your own cheese at home. And if you have any bit of knowledge to offer or just something cheesy or cheese-related, please let me know...I'd love to fill the pages with guest posts! Just recently, the Accidental Farmer dropped by and wrote this post about her experiences making Cottage Cheese. You can use her recipe...or the one I'm about to show you...or any other one you choose! Get cheesy with us. You know want to. Okay, you know I want you to. Back to Cottage Cheese...did you know that Cottaging is actually just a process? A way of making cheese! Cottage cheese is another fresh cheese...usually found in small or large curd. It is said that the term "Cottage" originated started with the simple cheese that was made in...get ready for it...cottages. They used any milk left over after making butter. Go figure. "It is drained, but not pressed so some whey remains and the individual curds remain loose. The curd is usually washed to remove acidity giving sweet curd cheese. It is not aged or colored. Different styles of cottage cheese are made from milks with different fat levels and in small curd or large curd preparations."* To my very pleasant surprise I loved the homemade cottage cheese. Probably because it has basically the same flavor profile as Queso Blanco! As a matter of fact, if you press it, that's what you'll get...a "pot" cheese! Cool, huh. Large Curd Cottage Cheese from The Home Creamery by Kathy Farrell-Kingsley 1 gallon milk...whole, low-fat or nonfat 1/4 tsp. liquid rennet 2 Tbs. water 1/4 c. cultured buttermilk 1-2 tsp. salt I used Sel Gris Sea Salt Pour the milk into a large, heavy-bottomed pot and heat over low heat to 95 degrees F. Dissolve the rennet in the water in a small cup. Stir the dissolved rennet into the milk for 30 seconds. Stir in the buttermilk. Remove from heat, cover and let stand 30 minutes to 1 hour... ...or until solid curds form. Cut curds into 1-inch pieces.Heat the curds with the whey over low heat to 110 degrees F, stirring gently to bring curds from the bottom to the top (stir for the first 5 minutes, then every 5 minutes). It will take about 30 minutes for the curds to reach 110 ...or so she says. Seriously, it took me less than 10 over the lowest heat! Pour or ladle the curds into a colander lined with a double layer of butter muslin I used a fourple...or is it quadruple...layer of cheesecloth. Let the whey drain ~5 minutes, then gather together the edges of the muslin and rinse the cheese under cold water, squeezing while rinsing.Squeeze the cheese dry, then transfer to a medium bowl and add 1-2 tsp of salt to taste. Cover and refrigerate until ready to use or up to 2 days.Or, if you are one of those people who actually like what you've come to expect of Cottage Cheese...i.e. creaminess... simply stir in a little heavy cream or half & half just before serving. You can eat or use this cottage cheese as you would any store-bought cottage cheese...but the flavor is miles better! I like to eat it directly from a spoon. Have I persuaded you to try making cheese at home yet??? Give it a try...post the results on your blog...succeed or fail...and then head over to forging fromage to join our cheesy escapades! *source: answers.com I also want to give a huge thanks to Emily of Marvelous Recipes for passing Neno's Award on to me!! If you're on the look-out for awesome family friendly dishes...head on over and pay Emily a visit...you won't be disappointed!