Monday, September 19, 2016

Cottage Cheese (Well sort of)

     I've been making all sorts of stuff to try out for my homesteading class.  It's an hour long class, so everything I do has to fit into that time frame.  I had wanted to do a lesson on cheese making, and when I ran across a 30 minute cottage cheese recipe on Pinterest, I thought, "Perfect!". I tested it out the night before, with less than ideal results. I'm sharing the steps I used to make it. Even though I didn't like the way the cottage cheese turned out, you can use the exact same method to make a  very good paneer, which is what we ended up making in class. (You really should not test things out at the 11th hour.)
     The first step is to heat your milk. I used a quart of whole milk. You want it to just reach the boiling point. The bubbles should start to rise up in the pan. Remove the milk from the heat and add lemon juice to curdle the milk. I added about 2 teaspoons. In the picture below, you can see the milk starting to curdle. Keep stirring until you can see the greenish whey separate from the curds.
      You then line a colander with a thin, loose weave cloth. Put a bowl or other container under the colander, to catch the whey. Pour the curdled milk into the cloth, and let it drain.
     For the cottage cheese, I let it drain until it was a thick, pudding-like consistency. For the paneer, the cloth was squeezed until all the whey had been pressed out.
      This was the end result for the cottage cheese. The taste was okay, but the consistency was more like a loose ricotta than cottage cheese. It had virtually no discernible curds.  I'm not sure if others have had success using this method, or if cottage cheese is just one of those things you can't rush.