Sunday, September 28, 2014

Quick and Easy Homemade Cottage Cheese and Cottage Cheese Pancakes Recipe

It's fall. The trees are turning beautiful colors and the mornings are cool. I love the change in seasons, and even though it's hard to decide definitively, I think that autumn may be my favorite season. The busyness of summer is waning and the bone-aching cold and rain of winter hasn't yet set in. It's a great time for us to stand back, peruse our pantry shelves, and feel good about our efforts during the hot days of summer because our thrift and willingness to work means we can feed our families well during the coming months. I just love that feeling!

Today I'm going to share with you a "recipe" for making cottage cheese. It's quick and easy and, best of all, very tasty! And then I'll share a recipe for cottage cheese pancakes. They are delicious and easy to prepare as well. Can't beat that!

Cottage Cheese

1 gal. milk*
⅓ cup white vinegar
salt to taste

cream or half and half to taste

Pour the milk into a large, nonreactive pot (such as stainless steel) and slowly heat the milk to 180-190° F. (No need to stir.)
I use a thermometer to gauge the temperature.

When the milk has reached the proper temperature, remove from the heat and add the vinegar. Stir to mix and then let the mixture set for about 30 minutes or until the curds and whey completely separate.
Curds starting to form
Pour the curds and whey into a colander that has been lined with a double thickness of cheesecloth. Allow the whey to drain completely, about 15-30 minutes. From time to time you might have to lift the cheesecloth bundle to get the whey draining again as the colander can clog up. If just sort of life and shift the bundle and it seems to work.
Whey draining in colander leaving curds behind
Wrap the cheesecloth around the curds and rinse with cool tap water for several minutes, gently kneading the curds as you rinse.
Curds wrapped and ready to rinse
Drain again and then place the curds in a bowl. Add some cream or half and half if desired and salt to taste.
Oh boy! Cottage cheese!
Note: You can use the whey that's left behind in the cottage cheese making process to replace milk or water (there will be a lot!) in many recipes, such as biscuits, bread, cornbread, cooked oatmeal, and even smoothies. But remember that the whey from this recipe is acidic from use of the vinegar, so it will add a tangy taste to your food.

*In this recipe, low-fat or nonfat milk works well. I think it makes the curds “curdier.” I have no science to back this's anecdotal. But that's been my experience.


Cottage Cheese Pancakes

1 cup cottage cheese
4 eggs
½ cup flour
¼ tsp. salt

¼ cup oil

½ cup milk

½ tsp. vanilla, optional

Mix together all ingredients until well blended and batter is smooth. Fry on lightly greased griddle or frying pan; leave plenty of room between pancakes for turning…and turn them quick because the batter is thin, but you’ll soon get the hang of it.

Cottage cheese pancakes frying. So tasty!
If you’ve ever eaten cheese blintzes or crepes, these pancakes will prove reminiscent. Not really a pancake, per se, these delicate pancakes make for an excellent light brunch or lunch when paired with a tossed green salad or a bowl of fruit. Or try them rolled around a bit of blackberry jam and then sprinkled with powdered sugar. I make these for breakfast, lunch, and sometimes even dinner because they’re just that good!

Well I hope your coming week will be an especially fine one, and I hope you can get outside to enjoy the lovely fall colors!

Blessings to you and your loved ones,

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