If cottage cheese and ricotta cheese had a love child, this would be it. Farmer cheese is a soft, unripened cheese that has had most of its moisture pressed out. I grew up eating it by the tub; Eastern Europeans can easily go through a pound of it for breakfast. It’s high in protein—3 grams in just 2 tablespoons—and low in sugar, sodium, and cholesterol. My favorite is topping it with homemade preserves for breakfast, but you can also use it to make lasagna and cheesecake, to fill blintzes and pierogis, in noodle kugel, crumbled into salads, and more.
Excerpted from "The Kefir Cookbook" by Julie Smolyansky, copyright 2018. Reprinted with permission by HarperOne/HarperCollins. —Food52
Line a fine-mesh sieve or colander with three layers of damp cheesecloth and set it over a large bowl. Pour the kefir into the cheesecloth-lined sieve. Allow it to drain for 24 hours in the refrigerator or on a cool countertop.
Transfer the drained kefir to a small heatproof bowl or pot and place this in a larger pot. Set it on the stove and fill the larger pot with enough water so that it’s even with the kefir in the bowl, but not high enough that the water can spill over the sides of the bowl and into the kefir. Bring to a boil over medium-high heat and boil for 5 minutes. Turn the heat off and let cool, while still sitting in the water, to room temperature.
When cool, line another fine-mesh sieve or colander with three fresh layers of cheesecloth and pour the kefir into the colander, letting the liquid drain off. When the liquid has mostly drained, bring the corners of the cheesecloth together, forming a ball, and give the remaining cheese a good squeeze, holding the corners tightly. (Discard the liquid.) Use kitchen string or butcher’s twine to tie the corners of the cheesecloth together and hang the kefir over a sink or bowl overnight (unrefrigerated in a cool kitchen, away from sunlight).
In the morning, it will resemble densely packed cottage cheese. Transfer the cheese to a sealed container and store in the refrigerator for up to 1 week.