This cottage cheese dish was served on the salad bar at a local steakhouse for over sixty years. The establishment opened in 1952, long before the Interstate system connected our country. Highway 30 connected east and west in a ribbon that strung through Beef country. Steakhouses dotted the landscape in those days. This iconic concoction still brings smiles at the mere mention of it.
Grandpa’s Steakhouse was a swanky old-school steakhouse. It was the place to go for a celebration of any kind over a big slab of meat. Sadly, it closed in 2013, but for many of us that grew up eating dinner at “Grandpa’s,” we are grateful the recipe somehow got smuggled out while it was still operating.
The savory stuff was so beloved the local newspaper even received a letter from Kearney natives lamenting the steakhouse’s closing and their unrequited longing for a good Nebraska steak and cottage cheese on a trip back. After that, the recipe showed up everywhere, including the local community’s Facebook page. We were all overjoyed.
Steakhouses And Salad Bars Are Disappearing Across America
Beef prices have increased dramatically over the past few years, and it put a lot of pressure on restaurants that traditionally relied on beef, beef, beef, a few predictable sides, and a mile-long salad bar. Once the restaurant businesses’ domain, great quality steaks are now available in supermarkets and find their way to the home grill.
We are changing the way we eat in many ways and for many reasons. Despite the obesity epidemic, there is more emphasis than ever on eating healthy. There is a greater acceptance of ethnic and “adventurous” dining. The explosion of cooking shows on television has created home chefs who are unafraid of trying new foods and new ways of preparing them.
Last but not least, COVID showed us we could cook at home, eat at home and enjoy it! Salad bars took a huge hit during the pandemic when fears over food safety forced restaurants to close them. That’s why, right now, it’s a perfect time to revisit some of those great old recipes from the bountiful salad bars in the days when steakhouses were king.
This Homely-Looking Cottage Cheese Salad Won The Hearts Of A Generation
The recipe is simple, and it takes less than ten minutes to make a batch of this crowd-pleasing dish. Is it a salad? Is it a condiment? Is it a baked potato topping? Yes, to all three. I told a group of friends I grew up with that I was making this today, and they all responded with nostalgic enthusiasm.
It seems a lot of them still make it today. One friend said, “We just finished a bowl of it last night!” Several of them suggested a few of their personal twists on the original. Add some sweet red pepper, put some dill in it! Stuff it in a hollowed-out cucumber! Seve it with crackers!
When I posted a picture of it, one new friend thought it was unappetizing. An old friend, one who grew up on it, said it looked “beautiful.” I hope you’ll give it a try!
Time To Whip Up A Batch And Decide For Yourself
Take a few minutes and whip up a quick batch of this cottage cheese salad! Then you can decide for yourself if thousands of diners over a span of sixty years were right! It is simply amazing!
- 12 ounces of creamed cottage cheese
- 1 Tbsp mayonnaise
- 1 Tbsp sour cream
- 1 Tbsp chopped pimento
- 2 tsp finely chopped chives
- 2 tsp finely chopped green onion
- Salt and pepper to taste
- Mix all ingredients in a bowl. Refrigerate for a couple of hours or overnight before serving.
Do you have an old favorite salad bar recipe? Are you looking for one? I’ve been collecting some, and summer is the perfect time to try one out when it’s time for barbecues, gatherings, and potlucks! Life is good! Hallelujah, we can get together with everyone again! I have missed you!
Here are a couple more of my favorite salads!
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