Recently I’ve fallen for cottage cheese. Not the watery, low fat stuff, but really the really good stuff. I did a post back in January on Kalona’s organic 4% fat cottage cheese. Back then I expressed my intent to try char-grilling it like the yogurt on Ideas in Food. Please check out their post, as I took their exact technique and measurements and swapped in cottage cheese.
First I pulsed the cheese in the food processor to incorporate some of the cream back in, still leaving some of the texture. It was put into cheesecloth and hung to drain for 6 hours. Then I added by weight 7.5% sugar and •5% salt. The cheese was spread on a sheet pan and hit with a torch. The batch was then split in two, and zest from 1/2 a lemon was added to one of the batches. I tried them both hot and chilled. So, how was it and what would I do differently?
First, I would not be so impatient and let the cheese hang overnight to make sure all the liquid drained out. Also, the sugar was a little high for what I am looking for. I might try to cut it back to between 5.5-6%. I’d also like to swap in Old Bay for the salt.
That being said, I was pleased with the result. Ideally I would have achieved a bit more charring, but the cheese starts to melt like mozzarella with the heat. With the sugar content and lemon zest, it almost tasted like a cannoli filling. Charred ricotta anyone? Maybe next time. The flavor deepened as the cheese cooled. The heating and cooling of the cheese gave it a pleasant texture with a bit of chew. This is a technique worth using and exploring some more. Thanks to Alex and Aki for the birth of this technique.

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Chris Spear