Monday, August 25, 2008
Why I Love...Cottage Cheese
I forgot about cottage cheese for a while, but then the other day I was reading an article in a magazine about how cottage cheese is a great diet food. I was all, "What??" I have never in my life been on a diet- the closest thing to it would be trying to go a day without eating sugar (I failed)- but I do love cottage cheese.
In this case, "diet food" means "something you should be eating anyway." The thing about cottage cheese is that it's packed with a ton of protein for only a few calories. This is great for me when I realize sometimes around the afternoon that all I've had to eat all day is different forms of bread. Throw a 1/4 cup of cottage cheese in a bowl with a few baby carrots, and voila! I feel much better about myself.
Cottage cheese also goes great with many other foods. My favorite things to pair it with are bagels, peaches, or grapes. I also know that it's common to eat cottage cheese with pineapple, but I am a little scarred from that because when I went to college, it was served in the cafeteria every single day. Oh! Also, put some cottage cheese and some good quality strawberry jam in a crepe, dust with powdered sugar, and you have a quick, easy, and healthy cheese blintz!
My favorite cottage cheese brand is Knudsen's, but very sadly I cannot find it anywhere here in Seattle. Other good brands are Organic Valley and Trader Joe's. I'd stay away from Nancy's unless you like that odd, tangy, cultured flavor (fine for yogurt, but no thanks in my cottage cheese). If you're the lucky enough to live in the right area, you may be able to find a local farm that produces their own and sells it at a farmer's market.
Cottage cheese is also used quite a bit in baking- it's a great way to add moisture and protein. And funny enough, just as I was about to write this post my Grammy gave me a recipe for cottage cheese pancakes, which I'm sharing with you today. I highly recommend it with some sort of fruit (preferably peach) topping, rather than the normal maple syrup. Also, I think it would be a great idea to add to this recipe some lemon zest, or cinnamon, or vanilla- or all three!
These pancakes are great for a lazy Saturday, but with none of the guilt that comes with regular, sugary pancakes that are loaded with nothing but carbs. Well, some guilt, but definitely less.
Churchill House Cottage Cheese Pancakes:
1 cup small curd cottage cheese
1/2 cup AP flour
6 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted, plus more for greasing the skillet
1. Preheat oven to 2oo degrees. Lightly grease an ovenproof platter.
2. Beat eggs in a medium bowl; stir in cottage cheese. Add flour and mix until just blended but still lumpy. Add melted butter and stir gently to combine.
3. Melt butter on skillet over medium heat, and pour batter by 1/4 cupfuls onto the skillet. Cook like regular pancakes, though they should be crunchy on the outside and creamy on the inside.