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Pot cheese is a fresh milk cheese that's similar in texture to ricotta cheese. It's slightly drier than cottage cheese. In cooking, pot cheese can be used for both sweet and savory recipes. The cheese is best used when fresh and doesn't keep as long as other cheeses, such as cheddar or Parmesan. A cook can use the cheese wherever she would normally use ricotta or even cream cheese.
The texture of pot cheese makes it good choice for using as a spread on pastries and rolls. Use the cheese as a spread on bagels or muffins. A cook can add flavor to the cheese by sprinkling sugar on it. If used on bagels, herbs or salt can be mixed into the cheese. Finely chopped vegetables and herbs can be stirred into the cheese, and it can be served as a dip with crackers or chips.
The cheese also works well as a substitute for ricotta in pastas or dumplings. A cook can use the cheese instead of ricotta to make gnocchi. It can also be spread inside pasta shells for stuffed shells or used as a filling in ravioli. The cheese works well as a filling in blitzes and pirogies.
A cook can add pot cheese to batters and doughs to make a recipe richer. Pancakes, quick breads, and even cookies can benefit from the addition of cheese. It will also work well used in cheesecake instead of or alongside of cream cheese. A cook can use pot cheese to make a cake similar to ricotta cheesecake. Fresh fruit such as strawberries will brighten the flavor of the cake.
Pot cheese is also similar to quark cheese, which is commonly consumed in Europe. Quark cheese is made from buttermilk, or milk that has spoiled slightly, and salt. The milk is heated at a low temperature for a long period of time, until forms curds. Any whey or moisture is then squeezed from the curds, leaving a dry but still creamy cheese.
As quark or pot cheese is usually hard to find in the store, a cook can make it at home by heating milk with a bit of vinegar or lemon juice and then straining the milk through a cheesecloth. After most of the moisture has drained, the cook should wrap the cloth around the cheese and squeeze to remove as much water as possible. The cheese should be stored in the refrigerator for no more than two weeks.