How-To: Make Cottage Cheese at Home

Quick Cottage Cheese with Blueberries“Necessity is the mother of all invention” (or in this case, creation).  “Desperate times call for desperate measures.”  Either or both of those oft-cited quotes could describe what drove me to try my hand at making my own cottage cheese at home (more on that later).  Since you can’t buy cottage cheese at any of the grocery stores in Korea (I’ve only ever seen it for sale once, online and it was ~$15 USD for a regular small tub – no thanks!) I found a great recipe from Alton Brown of The Food Network for Quick Cottage Cheese.  Once I realized how easy it is to make low-fat, high-protein cottage cheese at home with a few simple ingredients, I had to share it with you.  This obviously is NOT my recipe, but I think it’s a handy “How-To” to include in case you encounter a recipe calling for cottage cheese and you just don’t have any on hand.

Have you ever read a recipe that you just KNEW you needed to make RIGHT NOW? One that had you rushing to the kitchen, flinging open cupboard doors and rummaging through the fridge? (This is far better than coming upon a recipe while away from home, and mentally performing that exercise, deciding that you DO indeed have the required ingredients on hand and failing to make a required pit stop at the grocery store or market on the way home, causing you to become a nuisance to your neighbours at best or glumly disappointed at worst.)  Well, Desserts With Benefits’ Healthy Key Lime Milkshake was THAT recipe for me.  And it just so happened to call for 1 cup of cottage cheese.

Ah, the elusive cottage cheese.  I’ve polled the expatriate community in South Korea more than once for tips on where to find cottage cheese.  I got a lead on quark (a soft, fresh cheese, similar to sour cream and native to German-speaking countries) at Costco, but it fell through.  So, it was high time that my vision for making cottage cheese (mentioned here) was realized.  I finally took my candy thermometer out of its packaging (I haven’t yet used it to make candy) and followed the Alton Brown recipe for Quick Cottage Cheese.

Some process shots:

Out of the package at last!

Out of the package at last!

Straight to work, waiting for the gallon (3.78L) of fat-free milk to come up to 120F.

Straight to work, waiting for the gallon (3.78L) of fat-free milk to come up to 120F over medium heat.

Once 120F is attained, remove from heat and slowly stir in 3/4 cup of white vinegar.  This causes the curd to start separating from the whey.

Once 120F is attained, remove from heat and slowly stir in 3/4 cup of white vinegar. This causes the curd to start separating from the whey.

Let sit at room temperature for 30 minutes.  Little Miss Muffet, anyone?

Let sit at room temperature for 30 minutes. Little Miss Muffet, anyone?

Strain the whey from the curds in a tea towel or tightly-woven cheesecloth, squeezing out as much liquid as possible.

Strain the whey from the curds in a tea towel or tightly-woven cheesecloth, squeezing out as much liquid as possible. Amazing that a gallon of milk only yields ~2 cups of cottage cheese curds.

Sprinkle the curds generously with sea salt - option to add milk or cream to the curds before serving.

Sprinkle the curds generously with sea salt – option to add milk or cream to the curds before serving.

Garnish as desired or use in your favourite recipe.

Garnish as desired or use in your favourite recipe.

P.S. - The Healthy Key Lime Pie Milkshake - delicious and well worth the effort!

P.S. – The Healthy Key Lime Pie Milkshake – delicious and well worth the effort!

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5 thoughts on “How-To: Make Cottage Cheese at Home

  1. Pingback: (High-Protein) Pumpkin Cheesecake Chia Pudding (Gluten-free, Grain-free, Refined sugar-free) | The Golden Graham Girl

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