Thursday, January 24, 2013

Home Made Paneer Cheese

Since Mr B brought me some DIY cheese kits late last year, we have been right into this whole cheese making thing. It's just so easy and the end result is so much nicer then anything you buy in the shops. A few weeks ago, we made some Paneer cheese and last night, we decided to try it in a lamb curry. It was beyond awesome and totally took over as the star of the meal. Normally paneer is quite a bland cheese and simply soaks up the flavours of whatever you cook it in, but this home made cheese is made using lemon juice so the end result is soft, creamy and has just the slightest hint of lemon! Best part is, you don't need any fancy gadgets or equipment, just a big pot and some butter muslin (which you should be able to buy at any craft shop). Home made cheese is totally not scary, it's delicious and the end result is very satisfying!! 

Home Made Paneer Cheese

3.8 Litres of whole unhomogenised cow's milk
8-10 tbspns of lemon juice

In a large pot, heat the milk to a gentle boil, stirring often.
Reduce the heat to low and drizzle in 8 tbspns of lemon juice. Cook for 10-15 seconds.

Remove from the heat and stir gently. Allow the mixture to sit for 5-10 mins. If the mixture has not formed large curds in this time, return to the heat and add the remaining 2 tbspns of lemon juice. Basically just keep adding lemon juice gradually until you notice the curds visibly separating and leaving the whey behind. If the whey still looks milky, keep adding the lemon juice.

Remove from the heat and allow to sit for 10-20 mins.

When the curds have settled below the whey, ladle them into a colander lined with butter muslin.

Tie the corners of the muslin in a know and hold the bag under some gently running warm water for 5-10 seconds. Gently twist the top of the muslin to squeeze out any extra whey.

Hang the bag to drain over a bowl for 2-3 hours. Once the bag has stopped dripping, unwrap the cheese. Eat right away or refrigerate for up to two weeks.

Edit - if you like a firmer paneer, instead of hanging the cheese to drain, place it in the colander, still wrapped in the muslin, with a heavy object (such as a bowl full of water) on top for 3-4hrs.

Now before you go anywhere....don't tip the whey down the sink or do anything stupid like that. While it's fresh, use it to make the best ricotta you have ever tasted!

To make the ricotta, simply measure out how much whey you have and adjust this recipe accordingly.

For every 5 litres of whey you have you will also need:
2 cups of full fat, homogenised milk
40ml of white vinegar
Any herbs you may wish to add

Heat your whey to 60C, stirring frequently.

Add the milk and continue to heat until the mixture reaches 90C. Continue to stir.

Once the mixture hits 90C, add the vinegar.

Leave the mixture to stand over low heat for 5-10 mins. Gently scoop off the layer of curd that has risen to the surface into a colander lined with butter muslin. If you wish to add any herbs or flavourings, now is the time to do it. Tie the ends of the muslin up and hang over the bowl for 2-3 hours. Once the mixture has stopped dripping it is ready to eat or to store in the fridge for a week.

Just like with the paneer, this is such a beautiful soft, creamy totally won't last the week!


Mrs B xx

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