Some time ago, I clicked on a little badge on Natasha's blog (see, men are visual creatures ;) ) and discovered forging fromage, an informal meeting place for home cheese makers. This seemed to be a logical step to take the fun of bread making to the next level. The Cheese Challenge for February was to make Paneer from scratch, which was very easy and straightforward. I put the paneer into a soup plate to prevent flooding the fridge during the overnight rest, but the paneer just firmed up without rendering a drop of whey.
The finished paneer will hold it's shape through the fry and simmer to make a spicy kashmiri dish which goes well with some basmati rice.
Simmered Kashmiri Paneer
Source: Mangoes and Curry Leaves by Jeffrey Alford and Naomi Duguid
2 pounds very ripe tomatoes, or substitute 3 cups crushed good-quality canned tomatoes
about 1 pound paneer
about 2/3 cup ghee, peanut or safflower oil,or raw sesame oil for frying
1/2 cup minced garlic, or garlic mashed to a paste
3 Tbsp minced ginger , or ginger mashed to a paste
3 cups chopped onions (1/2-inch dice)
3 to 4 cups water
2 Tbsp minced seeded green cayenne chile
3 brown cardamon pods, smashed, or substitute 5 green cardamon pods, smashed
2 cloves (optional)
1 tsp turmeric
1/2 to 1 tsp Spanish pimentón or 1/2 tsp cayenne
1 1/2 tsp salt, or to taste
If using fresh tomatoes, peel the tomatoes and remove and discard the cores. Crush the tomatoes between your fingers into a bowl and set aside. Slice the paneer into rectangles 1/2 inch thick and about 1 by 2 inches, and set aside. Fill a wide heavy skillet or wokwith just over 1/4 inch ghee or oil. Heat over medium-low heat, then add only as many paneer slices as will fit in the pan without overlapping and cook, turning once, until lightly browned on both sides, 4 to 5 minutes per batch. Lift out, letting the oil drain off, and place on a plate. Repeat with the remaining paneer.
Measure out 1/3 cup ghee or oil from the pan and pour into a large heavy-bottomed nonreactive saucepan. Heat over medium-high heat, then add the garlic and ginger, lower the heat to medium, and stir-fry for about a minute. Add the onions and cook, stirring frequently, until very soft and pale honey in colour but not caramelized to brown, 10 to 12 minutes. Add the tomatoes and stir in, then add 3 cups water. The mixture should be very liquid; if not add some more water. Bring to a boil over high heat. Add the green chile, cardamon, cloves, if using, turmeric, pimentón or cayenne, and salt. Lower the heat to maintain a steady simmer and simmer for about an hour, stirring occasionally to prevent sticking. You may have to lower the heat a little more halfway thourhg the cooking as the mixture thickens.
Add the paneer to the sauce and simmer for another 45 minutes. Taste and adjust the seasoning if necessary.
Source: forging fromage
Original Source: 200 Easy Homemade Cheese Recipes
4 quarts whole milk
4 tsp freshly squeezed lemon juice, approx.
- Sterilize all equipment. In a large stainless-steel pot over low heat, slowly bring milk to a boil, stirring gently to prevent scorching. Remove from heat.
- Add lemon juice. Stir for 5 minutes or until milk begins to curdle and the solids rise to the top. If it does not curdle, add another 2 tbsp lemon juice and continue stirring.
- Pour contents of pot into a cloth-lined colander. Let curds drain. Rinse curds with cold running water, then twist them in the cloth to remove as much of the water as possible.
- Twist the cloth tightly around the cheese and place on a plate. Cover with another plate and place a 2-lb. (1 kg) weight on top. Place in the refrigerator overnight.
- Unwrap cheese and place in a small bowl. Cover and store in the refrigerator for up to 5 days.