I was recently asked “What is Koch Kase?” and I have to admit I drew a total blank. The words are straightforward… Koch Kaese = Cook Cheese… but, I have no idea what it is. To my knowledge we never had it at home. So I did a little asking around, was given a recipe (thanks Dale), compared it to other recipes… and came up with my daughter’s new favorite after-school snack.
What is Koch Kase?
Koch Käse started out as a way for Germans to preserve the leftover dairy, like Quark, once it started to turn bad, and make it something still edible. Honestly, I don’t know about the rest of you, but in our house, NO food was or is wasted.. anything leftover would be eaten the next meal, or transformed into something else. In this case, in the days before refrigeration, dairy would be cooked to extend its life. Then butter and flavoring would be added to create a cheese spread that is wonderful on Rye bread or crackers.
This Koch Kase recipe uses Cottage Cheese,which is much more common in American Kitchens… and processed cheese, because it melts beautifully, and is quite flavorful.
What you end up with is a spreadable cheese that is wonderful on bread or crackers. My daughter warms it up, and dips pretty much anything (including her fingers) into the pot. We’ve also spread some on bread and put it under the broiler for a toasted cheese sandwich. (Hmmm…. maybe we should try it with ham and pineapple…Toast Hawaii anyone?)
The recipe makes a few cups of Koch Kase… go ahead and double it if you want, it freezes easily. Caraway seeds are the traditional addition, but go ahead and experiment with dill or red pepper flakes.
How to Make Koch Kaese
1 LBS Small Curd Cottage Cheese
½ TSP. Baking Soda
4 TBLS. Butter or Margarine (I prefer Butter)
8 OZ. Process Cheese (ex. Velveeta) cubed
2 TBLS. Grated Parmesan Cheese (a little more is good too)
2 TBLS. Milk (optional)
In a small bowl, mix cottage cheese and baking soda. Let stand at room temperature for one hour. This allows the curds to break down, and melt smooth. Don’t add more baking soda, it will taste funny, and don’t worry if it’s not perfectly smooth after an hour.
In a large saucepan, melt Butter and Process Cheese. Stir occasionally until completely melted.
Add the broken down Cottage Cheese and Parmesan Cheese, then stir until smooth.
Add in the Caraway seeds (maybe a teaspoon or more) Stir.
If mixture is very thick, add some milk.
Pour into containers (for serving or storing) and cool
Serve with Rye Bread, Crackers, Pretzels or a spoon!
*note- The texture is like a cream cheese or Brie Cheese… my daughter loves to warm it up in the microwave a bit so it’s more of a dip.
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