Making cheese

I was looking through one of my Indian cookbooks last week and noticed that there were a few recipes using “Paneer,” which is a type of cheese used commonly in India–it’s a fresh cheese, and the book said it’s easy to make.

So, Trevor found a recipe on the web for Paneer, and guess what we did yesterday afternoon? :)

It was super easy, although time-consuming, because basically you just have to take 8 cups of whole milk and “bring it to a gentle boil over medium heat.”  The recipe said something about 15 minutes of “cook time,” but guess what, I was standing at the stove waiting for that gentle boil for over an hour. But, I mean, not difficult at all, like I said, just time-consuming for that part.

Then you just add the lemon juice and stir a bit, and this is what happens.

After a couple of minutes of gently stirring, the curds were getting bigger, so we put it in a colander lined with cheesecloth, rinsed with cool water to get rid of the lemon taste, and then bundled it up in the cheesecloth to squeeze out some moisture. Then it said to hang it from your faucet for five minutes.

Then we put it on a plate (still in the cheesecloth), put another plate on top of it and weighted that with a couple big cans. And into the fridge for 20 minutes (although we actually left if for about an hour, thinking it couldn’t hurt).

The resulting product was just fine. . . I guess it was good, but it wasn’t great. I mean, there was nothing in it but milk and a slight lemony taste from the lemon juice. So I don’t know what we expected. . . we did then make Paneer with Peas for supper, and it, too, was good but not great.

So, I guess overall a bit disappointing, but definitely a learning opportunity.  I’m going to try making ricotta or something and see if the result is any different. :)

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One Response to Making cheese

  1. Sheri says:

    That’s the same way you make ricotta except you don’t press it – so I’m guessing you’d feel about the same with the ricotta – I did it once – thought hmm.. it’s okay – but a lot of work when you can go buy a fine product at the store (and it does take a pretty huge amount of milk)

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