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Once upon a time I had a satellite dish. Shocking, I know. I attribute part of my previous weight gain to watching hours of the Food Network. I was subscribed to countless food magazines, everything from Food Network to Bon Appetit. Somewhere between my obsession with cooking shows, cooking magazines, helping my dad cook as a kid, and just having Midwestern roots…I learned to become an excellent cook. In fact, my husband’s mom has been the food services director at a local university for almost 30 years. She’s a very, very good cook. When I first cooked for my husband (I think our second date?), he jokingly asked me to marry him…exclaiming “You are the best cook in the world!”
I learned my favorite homemade cottage cheese recipe while watching Alton Brown in all his glorious geekiness (this is a word, isn’t it?). This is ridiculously simple. I adjusted the recipe slightly to make it less salty.
Homemade Cottage Cheese
- 2 quarts pasteurized skim milk (the regular store-bought stuff works great)
- 1/2 white vinegar
- 1/2 tsp kosher salt (kosher is important)
- 1/2 cup half-n-half or heavy cream
- Heat skim milk in a large saucepan over medium-low heat
- Heat to 120 degrees (too high and your cottage cheese will taste mealy)
- Remove from heat, and pour in vinegar. Stir for 1-2 minutes until the curd separates from the whey
- Cover, and leave it for 30 minutes undisturbed (don’t take off that lid until it’s time!)
- Pour the mixture into a colander lined with a flour sack or tea towel, letting sit to drain for at least 5-10 minutes. Gather the edges of the cloth together to form a pouch, and then rinse under cold water for 3-5 minutes until curd is completely cooled. You need to squeeze and move the mixture the entire time.
- Squeeze as dry as possible and put mixture into a mixing bowl.
- Add salt, stirring to combine. Your curds will be pretty chunky–break these up as you stir.
- Serve right away, adding the half-n-half or heavy cream to it. If you’re not serving it right away, put in a glass container with a lid and place in the fridge, adding the cream just prior to serving.
Make savory crepes, use in lasagna, with fruit, or with cinnamon and honey sprinkled on top