Sunday, May 30, 2010

5. Make cheese--Check

For my first-ever venture into cheese-making, I decided to try one of the most simple cheeses. I made paneer. It has only two ingredients. Milk and some kind of acid with which to curdle it. Following this recipe, I used lime juice. I was amazed at how easy it was. You bring the milk to a boil, add the lime juice, stir and cook for about 5 minutes, strain out the curds, press them into a ball, drain it for an hour, and then chill it. I will definitely make this again, and I think after the Apostle's Fast, I will try my hand at some other cheeses as well.

The only downside was that it was that it took a long time! I knew it would, and I planned for the draining and chilling, but I didn't take into account how long it would take to bring a half-gallon of milk to a boil. I did it over medium heat because I didn't want to scorch it or let it boil over, and it took about 45 minutes!  Other than that the several hours were no big deal, since they weren't hands on. I didn't have to be around for the draining or chilling.

I used the cheese to make palak paneer, (spinach curry with cheese) which is one of my favorite foods. You can see the chunks of cheese in the curry above. I love Indian food, but I for some reason I don't cook it all that often.  The palak paneer was delicious, and I was so proud of making it totally from scratch. I kind of melded a few different recipes on the fly, so I'm not sure how authentic it was, but no matter since it was yummy. I didn't take notes, so I don't really have a recipe to share. Next time I make it I'll try to pay attention to how I'm doing it. I actually used chard instead of spinach, because that's what they had at the farmer's market. The milk for the cheese came from the local dairy, so the two main ingredients for this international dish were locally produced. I'm excited that we're coming into the time of year when we have an abundance of fresh local vegetables.


  1. OOoh, just what I need to read on the first day of the Apostles' Fast, grin!


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