February 17, 2011 1 Comment
One of the things I gave up last year when I decided to reduce my use of disposable plastic was cottage cheese. I find cottage cheese to be a healthy and convenient snack that I thoroughly enjoy. The casein in cottage cheese is a great slow release protein, making cottage cheese an ideal bedtime snack. However, in Huntsville only narrow-neck plastic bottles can be recycled, so cottage cheese (and yogurt) tubs end up in a landfill.
Yogurt is quite easy to make, and I posted my recipe in an earlier blog post. In fact I am making a batch of yogurt as I type this. Last month I finally decided to tackle homemade cottage cheese. I ordered rennet from The New England Cheesemaking Supply Company, although I found out later that they do sell it locally at Earth Fare. The first recipe I tried was from David Lebovitz. The pictures were enticing and the recipe didn’t sound too formidable. However, my curds and whey didn’t want to separate, and I ended up with a scant cup of cottage cheese for my labors and frustration. Not to be thwarted that easily, I scrolled through the comments for suggestions. Near the bottom of the page, I saw the following comment:
Letting milk sit out on my counter sounded a bit dicey to me, but I decided to give it a whirl. The cottage cheese turned out fabulous! It does take some planning, but the actual work involved is negligible. I will warn you that cooling down completely takes 6 hours or so – I wasn’t expecting that. I ended up with a large mason jar of whey, which will be put to good use in bread baking.