|I have this genius friend (actually, I have several) and her name is Carrie. If I want to know something about nature or herbs, I ask Carrie. She’s a wealth of information. She used to work with my dad and now she’s retired….which excites me because it means she has more time to answer all my questions. Carrie uses kefir and she sent me her recipe for homemade kefir cottage cheese. I was STOKED! (Do people still say stoked?) I love cottage cheese – but Barry and Annie are not fans. Tons of my recipes call for cottage cheese…..and both of them will eat it if it’s IN something. Pansies. I love knowing I can make things with my kefir instead of buying it at the store. So, come along with me and see how easy it is to make your own cottage cheese. Thanks Carrie!|
|You’ll need one pint of dairy kefir, one quart of whole milk, and apple cider vinegar. That’s it. Carrie actually says you can use any kind of milk, but I’m an advocate of full fat dairy. I really have to get a cow…..and some chickens……and a new food processor. But anyway, on to the cottage cheese!|
|You’ll need to let your kefir sit out of the fridge until it’s room temperature. That took a couple hours for me. I put it out after breakfast and then went about my morning chores – ironing, washing, cleaning up milk splatters on the window, etc.|
|We’re using our thermometer again, just like with the homemade yogurt. Heat your milk slowly to 140 degrees. Okay, so I went a little faster than slowly…..I used the medium setting. Mainly, don’t let the milk boil. Just warm it up until it’s 140.|
|When your temp reaches 140 degrees, slowly pour in the pint of kefir. DO NOT STIR IT. I know, I know. I have this stirring issue. I have to restrain myself. And for me, stirring usually = mess.|
|After you’ve poured all the kefir in, also pour in two tablespoons of apple cider vinegar. Again, don’t stir it. What’s your rush? Magic is happening here y’all.|
|Now, after the vinegar is in you will want to push it in and around the pot with a wooden spoon. Don’t stir it, just push it around. Be a bully.|
|Your curds will start to form as you push the vinegar around in the milk mixture. If you don’t see the curds start to form, heat the milk back up to 130 degrees and then you should see the curds forming.|
|You should see the whey start to form around the outside edges of the pot. It looks yellow…..like chicken broth, Carrie says. The whey and curds will all separate. How does it happen? Well, I don’t know…..and I don’t really care because I just made cottage cheese and I’m clucking around like a proud hen. When you see the whey separate, turn off the heat and let it set about 5 minutes.|
|Just like we lined the colander with cheesecloth for Greek yogurt, we’re going to do the same here for the cottage cheese. Make sure you wet the cloth and then ring it out. Pour your liquid into the colander and let it start to strain. Don’t press it. Just let it do it’s thang….it might take 30 minutes or so…..or you might accidentally forget about it because you’re dancing to Ezekiel Saw The Wheel with your 2 year old and it might sit for about an hour. Uh, oops?|
|It will look like this when all your liquid is gone. WOOHOO! Am I the only one excited around here? I mean, we just made COTTAGE CHEESE! That deserves a bit of excitement I think.|
|Turn the cheese out into a storage bowl. Break the curds apart with a fork while they are still warm. You might want to add salt to taste. I don’t because I usually just use it in a recipe. Carrie says to store the whey in the bowl in the fridge….you can use it for bread or anything else that calls for liquid. I find that it makes bread really tender and flakey.|
|Did you know this would be so stinking easy? I mean, really? I get excited every time I make it. Curds and whey. Just call me Little Miss Muffet.I’ll put the directions below exactly like Carrie worded them.|
Kefir Cottage Cheese
1 pint dairy kefir
1 quart whole milk
2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
Salt if desired
Let the liquid kefir set out of the refrigerator until it is room temperature. Heat one quart of milk slowly to 140 degrees. Leave the heat on and slowly pour in one pint of kefir. Do not stir. Pour in two tablespoons of apple cider vinegar. Don’t stir it, just push it around with a wooden spoon.
The curds will start forming and separating from the milk so the liquid becomes whey and looks yellowish like chicken broth. If the whey does not show, continue to heat back to 130 degrees. It will separate – you will see the whey around the edge of the pan.
After it separates, turn off the heat and let it set about 5 minutes.
Then use a wet cheesecloth over some kind of strainer or colander that is sitting over a bowl to catch the whey. Pour the pot of warm liquid and curds through the cheesecloth. Don’t press it. Just leave it and let it drain on its own. This may take 15-20 minutes. Don’t rush it.
Turn the cottage cheese out of the cheesecloth into a container with a lid. While it is warm, separate it with a fork.
Salt to taste.
|This post is linked to What’s On Your Plate at Good Cheap Eats, at Under the Big Top Friday on Savannah’s Savory Bites, at Simple Lives Thursday at GNOWFGLINS, at Sunday School on Butter Believer, at Monday Mania on The Healthy Home Economist, and Real Food Wednesday on Kelly The Kitchen Kop, at Frugal Days Sustainable Ways on Frugally Sustainable, and at Hearth and Soul Blog Hop at Penniless Parenting.|