Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Cottage Cheese


"Oh, please tell me how you make your own cottage cheese! I would love to know how. I did a google search but had a hard time coming up with anything very helpful..."

~ From: Kimmie in Fort Worth

Reading this comment a few moments ago, I had to laugh. I'm afraid, Kimmie, that you don't want the recipe I used.:) ...Unless, of course, the flop was all my fault.

Let's see... the recipe was very simple: Let one quart of whole milk sit out until it is thick and sour. Then warm the milk slowly on the stove until the whey (the watery part) comes to the top, and the curds (the solids) sink. Pour into a cloth bag and let hang for 6 hours. Then remove to a bowl, and mix in 1 tsp of salt.

Perfect. Very simple.

...Right?

I was thrilled.

We pour some milk (less than a quart) into a small glass bowl, and let it sit on the counter. This was early Friday afternoon. I was sure we'd have cheese by Saturday.

I didn't calculate for the fact that the cool breeze flowing through the kitchen windows, though lovely for humans, was very...well...cooling for milk. That stubborn milk refused to get thick and sour.

So we let it sit.

And sit.

And sit.

...Until late Saturday night, when I finally noticed that it was thick. It was too late to boil it that night. It just had to sit.

I think the reason it finally got thick was because we moved it to the stove top, and used the oven quite a bit that day, and the stove top got very warm. Maybe too warm. The milk not only got thick, but separated nicely into curds and whey.

I was afraid to let it sit through Sunday, so after Sunday dinner, I put the lovely VERY thick milk - which, since it was now separated nicely into curds and whey, I suppose wasn't that thick, really - into a small saucepan and heated it.

Because it was already separated into curds and whey, I had no "way" to tell when I had heated it enough. After letting it warm for several minutes, and seeing no change in the substance, I finally just decided to skip to the cloth bag.

Pouring the mixture into a cheesecloth sack, and tying the top, I hung it from the paper towel rack, and propped a bowl under it to catch the drips. I then set a timer for six hours. During this time, I stuck my nose up to the bag and got a whiff of...well, let's just say it smelled more like dirty socks than any other food I've ever smelled.

Upon our return from Sunday night services, I dumped the cheese into a bowl and added a little salt. My sisters were watching in great anticipation, but their eagerness faded when they too smelled the socks...uh, make that cheese.

After Mom smelled the said substance, she positively forbade us to eat it, and I for one wasn't going to argue with her. (One of my little sisters did want to sample, but I told her "no way", and dumped the bowlful into the trash.)

I'm not sure if I did something wrong, or if the recipe is at fault. If I caused the mishap, I'm guessing it happened when I let the bowl heat up on the stove top, and then let it sit until it separated into curds and whey.

Can any of you help Kimmie, with a cheese recipe that is simple, yet works better than mine?

6 comments:

Anna said...

Wow! I would love to be able to make this yummy stuff!!
Maybe you should try it again!=D

~Anna

Amber said...

Thanks, Anna. Maybe I will....someday. :)

Jeremy said...

This would be a nice and easy cottage cheese recipes for you to try. Using this recipes you should have cottage cheese in under an hour.

http://www.foodnetwork.com/recipes/alton-brown/quick-cottage-cheese-recipe/index.html

Amber said...

Thanks, Jeremy - I'd like to try it sometime.

cheesefemme said...

Oh, I just saw that you responded to my comment IN A POST!! Thanks! I feel so special. And I'm definitely going to try the food network link. I'll let you know if it works...and smells better than stinky socks!!

Kimmie

Amber said...

You're very welcome, Kimmie. :) I do hope you'll let me know how it turns out!