Sadly, I only have the choice in one of those matters. Ahem.
Growing up, we often had cottage cheese topped with fruit during dinner. I was never a huge fan, and one day (probably around 6), I just stopped eating it. I’ve had nothing to do with it ever since.
Then two weeks ago, I was at a breakfast meeting, and someone had brought a tub of cottage cheese. I thought to myself, “self, it’s been about 24 years since you ate this stuff last. Try a small bite”. So I did.
And then I had a bigger bite.
And a bigger bite!
And pretty soon I was growling at anyone who tried to eat some of my precious.*
*That didn’t happen.
Last week, I bought some cottage cheese, topped it with sliced tomatoes, and sprinkled salt and pepper over it. Troy and I had some with dinner one night, and then couldn’t stop eating it. We then bought a tub of it from Costco two days later, and promptly ate it in about three days.
After searching for and not finding an organic version of cottage cheese in my little town, I set off on an online search for a recipe to make my own. I found this one by Alton Brown.
When you can’t do anything about your thighs cottage cheese
*the ingredients below have been halved from the original version
1/2 gallon of milk (I used our local raw milk)
1/4 cup + a few tblsp of vinegar
1/2 tsp of kosher salt
1/4 cup of half and half or heavy cream (I used the cream on the top of our milk!)
1) Heat the milk in a pan (my beloved dutch oven) on medium heat until it reaches 120 degrees.
2) Remove the pan from the heat, and gently pour in the vinegar. Stir slowly for 1 to 2 minutes.
3) Cover, and let sit at room temperature for 30 minutes.
4) Pour the mixture in colander lined with a tea towel for 5 minutes.
5) Rinse the mixture in the towel under cool water for 3-5 minutes. Make sure you’re squeezing and moving the mixture until cool. (that’s what she said).
6) Squeeze dry and transfer to mixing bowl. Add the salt, and stir to break up the curd.
Add the half and half or cream right before serving. Top with your topping of choice. I prefer to treat this as a cheap version of creamy mozzarella for caprese salad.
I thought this was pretty good! I’ll probably continue buying some from the store because this recipe doesn’t make nearly enough to serve our needs. It’s a great use for milk that might go bad if not used immediately.