The Answer’s in the Oil
I’ll fucking fry it.
Of course that is what I should be doing with my leftover cottage cheese.
After my recent discovery of this cheese curd mixture, or whatever cottage cheese is, I became obsessed with figuring out ways to use it. My first attempt — a cottage cheese sandwich — tasted fine. It was simple, but fairly original (according to those with cottage cheese histories).
But I then had a tub of that leftover. It was too tangy to eat by the spoonful so I had to disguise it. I flirted with many recipes: enchiladas, kugel, or simple scrambled eggs. But I wanted something fun. Something I could create with the ingredients already in my apartment.
Oil! I always have oil. I also had the blackest black (sounds like a mascara, huh?) plantains that I immediately had to fry or else throw out. I pretended the cottage cheese was queso fresco and warmed up some oil.
Fried Cottage Cheese Coins
When I scanned the enchilada recipe, I noticed their treatment of the cottage cheese, and I duly copied. I dumped the cottage cheese in a colander, rinsed it with cold water and all of the slime washed away, and then I let it drain for about 45 minutes. I tasted the curds and they were suddenly much better than before – less tangy, the hint of saltiness came through, and did I mention the sliminess was gone.
When the curds were aired out, I mixed them with cilantro (and the chopped stems), scallions, cumin, cayenne, kosher salt, freshly ground pepper, two spoonfuls of flour and a beaten egg. I formed the mixture into small patties, then smooshed panko (seasoned with s&p) onto the patties. I let the patties sit for 20 minutes to adhere a bit, then dropped them into hot (canola) oil and fried for a few minutes, until crisp and tan.
Our dinner that night happened to be a fucked up affair of fried plantains, fried cottage cheese and a side salad with Seedy Mayo Mustard Dressing.
I also made a dipping sauce for the fried goodies: sour cream, crumbled feta, cayenne, scallions, garlic powder, lime juice, salt and pepper.
(PS–this could so be Super Bowl worthy)
More: appetizer recipes