Aug 11, 2009

Paneer

Friends eventually completed the upgrade on their kitchen. Now it is larger, shinier, better. With an oven that works. And a large gas ring for flaming wok-frying. In fact, the cooking arena forms the centerpiece of the new space. Initiation was a pizza evening. And we were seven people, so Diplomacy was added to the list of attractions. Just bring some toppings. Whatever you like.

Excitement. Except I couldn't do my usual and take something involving yeast and flour - that would seem to much like competition. And I only had an afternoon. Hmmm. Consultation of the oracle led me to ricotta.

A quick trip to the store provided me with two pints of milk and a pint of cream, but no buttermilk. So I went the lemon juice route, which technically brings me closer to Indian paneer, but the basic mechanism stays the same. Heat the mixture, until the curds abandon the whey. (Or is it the other way around?) Pour through a cheese cloth, or if you own a blue and white kitchen towel rather use that: the patterns are much prettier. Squeeze, tie and hang. Bookcases work well. Let it drip dry, squeezing a bit for more firmness.



After 40 minutes of dripping, I had a soft, crumbly, yet firm cheese. Rinse, then refrigerate.


The pizza was quite plain: paneer, spinach and marinated sun-dried tomatoes. Good.

1 comments:

Marie said...

Looks wonderful! Can't wait to try...