Monday, September 05, 2011

I’m making my own cottage cheese tonight. OK, I have an admission to make, I had no nap today, and I’ve been zipping along on Red Bull. I LOVE Red Bull. It’s 8 p.m. and I’m not in bed. :)

Anyway, I felt hungry for cottage cheese, but what I have is expired. I’ve got rennet tablets, so I figured I’d give it a try. Headed to the Internet for some recipes (too disorganized and didn’t know where my back to the basics book is). Amazing what you learn on the Internet (Did you know that you can freeze buttermilk?!?). I came across a recipe from Alton Brown,
1 gallon pasteurized skim milk
3/4 cup white vinegar
1 1/2 teaspoons kosher salt
1/2 cup half-and half-or heavy cream
Pour the skim milk into a large saucepan and place over medium heat. Heat to 120 degrees F. Remove from the heat and gently pour in the vinegar. Stir slowly for 1 to 2 minutes. The curd will separate from the whey. Cover and allow to sit at room temperature for 30 minutes.

Pour the mixture into a colander lined with a tea towel and allow to sit and drain for 5 minutes. 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. Once cooled, squeeze as dry as possible and transfer to a mixing bowl. Add the salt and stir to combine, breaking up the curd into bite-size pieces as you go. If ready to serve immediately, stir in the half-and-half or heavy cream. If not, transfer to a sealable container and place in the refrigerator. Add the half and half or heavy cream just prior to serving.

I cut it in half, and am at the sitting at room temperature right now. Got another 15 minutes.

Fall is here, and I’m enjoying the cool temps. It was a two blanket night last night, nice crisp cold air coming in through the window. What a relief after all of that hot muggy air. I’m just taking it one day at a time and not even thinking about what’s coming next. As the Bible says, don’t worry about what’s coming tomorrow, sufficient to each day is its own badness.

PS: Next time I’ll try the 12-18 hr. recipe which uses rennet tables. The vinegar method leaves the curds the consistency of ricotta cheese. I like my cottage cheese with large curds.