August 15, 2008
Sorry this is so late in coming darlin'. I've been so busy lately I haven't been to the forums as much as I'd like. If you ever need anythign seriously feel free to use my real e-mail. I don't mind at all!
A bit about this recipe, I found it on live journal in a community called “super_supper” where people post pics of their dinner, etc. So I don't know where it came from before that, but here is the link to the original recipe post by the girl who made it, if you have live journal. If you're not a live journal member I'm not sure if you'll be able to see it, because sometimes communities lock posts to non-community members, but try it and see! You might be able to view the full recipe!
But if you can't here is the recipe copied from that page for Paneer Cheese. I put my comments in bold.
1/2 gallon whole milk
2 TBSP white vinegar (or lemon juice, but I've found vinegar works MUCH better!) — I used the vinegar in mine too.
1. In a heavy saucepan, bring milk to a boil. (When it has reached full boil, it will look very foamy and VERY QUICKLY boil over. To avoid the ensuing mess, remove it from the heat right away.) My milk always sorches, no matter what.
2. Add vinegar (or lemon juice) and stir until small curds separate from the whey, about 2-3 minutes.
3. Let sit 10 minutes so curds can develop, then drain into a colander lined with 2 layers of cheesecloth. When cool enough to handle, tie up opposite ends of the cheese cloth and squeeze out remaining liquid.
4. Place paneer, still in cheese cloth, on a plate. Flatten to 1/2″ thick and top with another plate. Rest something heavy on top (such as several cans or the Joy of Cooking) and let sit 20 minutes. — I sill haven't found an easier way to do this. It gets all sorts of messy.
5. Pour off any liquid that remains and refrigerate overnight, or use immediately by cutting paneer into 1/2″ cubes and frying gently in oil, turning to brown each side.
Ok Kelleh, this is totally interesting but what the heck is it? Whats it suppose to taste like? Is it a cheese?
I'm not Kelleh, but I can tell you how I use paneer. It's one of the only cheeses I know of that does not melt. You can heat it, broil it, deep fry it – it doesn't melt. Paneer is a traditional Indian cheese from the state of Punjab. It's used as a meat substitute because it's rich in protein, and doesn't require the slaughter of cows, just milking them. Much of India is vegetarian.
Paneer doesn't have much flavor on its own, but like tofu, that only lets the cheese absorb the flavor of whatever it is cooked in or with. It's got a firm consistency so you can cube the cheese and cook it in a sauce. I learned to make it at home because it's even hard to find in So Cal and they have many ethnic markets to choose from. Walmart in WV (the nearest large supermarket to me) certainly doesn't carry it.
Here's a link to an Indian “soul food” blog with illustrations of the paneer making process. I don't like it that the writer refers to paneer as “fresh cottage cheese” because it isn't at all like cottage cheese. I don't think it's even close.
Here's my favorite recipe using paneer. It’s called Palek Paneer, and it's a spicy dish with spinach and paneer as the main ingredients. It sounds and looks funny, but it's really tasty. I use it as a side dish when I make lamb korma, an Indian dish made with lamb cubes cooked with spices and finished with a tomato-yogurt sauce.
And here's the link to the lamb korma recipe. (We raise sheep because I like lamb, and like paneer, lamb is hard to find near us in WV.) By the way, we aren't Indian, I just like to cook and I love to try making recipes I've liked at a restaurant in my own kitchen.
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