Tuesday, April 3, 2012

Noodles And Pot Cheese

Noodles and Pot cheese is a meal that my dad has been talking about for awhile now.  He remembered as a kid growing up in New Brunswick, NJ his parents going out to the dairy farm down the road and one of the things they would buy every so often was pot cheese.  It took me a bit of looking but pot cheese in essence is just a curdled milk cheese, a way for farmers to use up leftover milk after the cream has separated and been skimmed off.  While skim milk is what is traditionally used in this recipe, it's important to remember that unless you've had organic skim milk you've never really experienced what real skim milk is.  The commercial dairy skim milk is little better than powdered milk mixed with alot of water and lacks the taste and richness of true skim milk which is closer to 2% milk in flavor and richness.  So if you're going to do this, go organic and get some organic skim milk.  You will also need some cheesecloth and a colander.  1 quart of milk makes enough pot cheese for 4 servings and it needs to be used up within a day as it doesn't keep well.

Pot Cheese

1 quart Organic Skim Milk
White Vinegar
Kosher Salt

Place milk in a heavy saucepan and heat until just boiling.  You'll know when it's ready because there will be fine bubbles on the sides of the pan and in the center of the milk.  Stir constantly while doing this as milk burns easily.  Turn off heat and add about 1/4C vinegar while stirring, you should see a separation occur and get curds floating in yellowish whey.  If not add some more vinegar, this isn't rocket science and you can't screw it up.  When the curds form, turn out contents into cheesecloth lined colander.  You can give the cheese a light press and turn it into something like queso blanco but for the purposes of this recipe it is not necessary.  Simply add some kosher salt, mix, and store cheese in a container until needed.

To make noodles and pot cheese you need:

8oz Egg Noodles
4oz Hog Jowl Bacon or 8 slices thick cut bacon
Pot Cheese

Boil noodles according to package directions.  Dice bacon and in a frying pan fry until crisp.  Dump noodles in serving bowl, add bacon, bacon grease and pot cheese and toss until blended.  Garnish with a few dashes sweet paprika.


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