March 14, 2011

Homemade Paneer Cheese

Back in the day when I was working, I hated Mondays. I always felt so tired from the weekends festivities. I felt as though I could never catch up on my sleep deprivation. Now that I'm not working, I love Mondays. It's the day of the week when I accomplish the most. I usually wake up feeling super chipper. I immediately start house chores laundry, etc. When those are done, I then sip my latte while perusing the internet looking for job openings. If I'm lucky enough to come across one that I like - I put together the standard cover letter, application, and resume package, which takes me hours. Next, I plan out my recipes for the week and hit the local Fred Meyers for the good deals, and of course, the free cheese. Later in the day, I take my dog for a long walk, hit the elliptical for 60 minutes and then a yoga class. When I come home, I am relaxed and ready to conquer a new recipe or two, and then finish the day off with a blog post. My friends are always wondering how I could possibly keep myself busy without having a job place of employment. Well there it is, a summary of my day!

I've always wanted to make cheese. Well, maybe not always, but ever since my second year university course with professor Lachance - who was very inspirational. I decided to start out with a simple basic cheese - paneer. Paneer is a soft cheese common in Indian dishes, and is quite easy to make. Some of my favorite panner dishes are; Palak paneer and paneer butter masala.  The only 2 ingredients you need to make paneer is milk and buttermilk. If you don't have any buttermilk, you can also use milk and lemon juice.

Ingredients
1 litre 2% milk - use whole milk if you want a richer cheese
2 cups buttermilk

Pour the milk in a large pot, and cook over medium heat. Stir continuously to prevent the milk from scorching on the bottom. Cook until the milk bubbles up the side, 10 - 15 minutes. Next, pour the buttermilk into the pot and stir until the milk separates from the curds and whey.


2. Remove the pot from the heat and pour the curds and whey through a strainer lined with cheese or muslin cloth. This is done to separate the liquid from the curds. [You can now add salt if desired.] When the curds are cool enough to touch, grab the cheese cloth and gather at the top, squeezing out all the excess liquid.


3. Lay the paneer on a counter top and place a cutting board, or something heavy on top. Let it press for two hours. Paneer can be kept in the fridge for 2 - 3 days.


2 comments:

  1. I had no idea that making paneer was so straightforward - thanks for sharing, Heather. Paneer and peas has long been my go-to dish at Indian restaurants and occasionally at home, so this was quite exciting.

    ps- In your main blurb for the bog, I think you mean "expert", not "expertise". Keep up the great posts, please!

    -Erin.

    ReplyDelete
  2. Thanks for the comment- I think it's the best comment yet!

    ReplyDelete