Cottage cheese is underestimated and underused. I have been discovering lately how this protein-packed powerhouse can substitute for many more expensive foods.
I recently drained it, rinsed it and then smashed it with a fork and used it in place of “queso fresco,” an unaged Mexican cheese that is fabulous sprinkled on top of tacos, salads, etc. It is about one-fourth the cost of queso fresco, and is amazingly close in look, texture and taste.
You can blend it in a food processor or blender and use it a variety of ways. It can substitute for ricotta cheese (about 1/3 the cost of ricotta). Many cooks believe it is superior to ricotta in lasagna dishes because it does not disinigrate into the sauce but holds its own when baked. Also, with a little lemon juice stirred in, it is a great substitute for sour cream (a little cheaper than sour cream).
We often forget that it is cheese, after all. I love to spread some on a piece of toast and then broil it until bubbly and lightly browned. Add a few slices of tomato or avocado and you have a delicious, healthy open-face sandwich.
I used to think of it as only an accompaniment for sliced tomatoes or peaches or pineapple tidbits, but it can be much, much more!
-Posted by Donna