Charlene is a big fan of cottage cheese, and she likes it plain. I need to put something in it. However, you can use it in many recipes.
7. Get cozy with cottage cheese.
Cottage Cheese has a long history and because of this it has evolved into a variety of styles. It was originally made on the farm from the family cow(s). It was often made from older milk in which the natural bacteria had already started to work. The milk would be brought in and placed in a warm place (near the fire, behind the wood stove, or in the warming oven). Then after a day or so the natural bacteria would produce enough acid to cause the milk to form a curd. This was then cut, cooked to a dry curd, then washed with cold water. The finish was a cold dry curd with a tangy flavor. At some point someone realized that the taste improved with the addition of some cream to make the much richer tasting creamed cottage cheese.
The process of manufacturing cottage cheese differs significantly from that used to manufacture other cheese varieties. Cottage cheese is a fresh cheese, and therefore is not aged or ripened before it is packaged and sold to the public. The process is too complicated to explain in this blog.
The USDA classifies cottage cheese into three varieties based on the amount of milk fat: regular cottage cheese, low-fat or reduced fat cottage cheese and non fat or dry curd cottage cheese. Although the most health-conscious eaters seek the types lowest in fat, even the higher-fat versions are still considered a nutritious food. Across the spectrum of milk fat content, varieties of cottage cheese abound including small curd, large curd, whipped, sodium-free, and others with flavors and fruit added.
You can substitute cottage cheese for other cheeses in a recipe, such as feta or ricotta. (You might ask why.) Some cooks put cottage cheese in their lasagna.
We like it for breakfast or as an afternoon snack. I like mine with fruit, honey, and walnuts. I like it with a sliced tomato or sitting in the center of a large tomato. Charlene not so much.
There are brands of cottage cheese that have live cultures in it just as many yogurts do. Helps get the good bugs into your gut.