Wednesday, July 15, 2009
Paneer adds an interesting element to a dish and has varied uses. All you have to do is google Paneer and you will find a plethora of recipes! For those of you who do not know what this even is: Paneer is a common Persian non melting famer's cheese. There, feel better knowing? Just like any fat added to0 a meal you will feel sated longer and it won't leave you wandering the kitchen looking for that "something" you may be left craving after a low fat meal. We can use avocado, nuts, butters, coconut cream all for the same affect in a low fat meat dish to balance the dish and feel full without adding in large amounts of calories. Since fat takes longer to digest the full feeling is left with us longer than the low fat meals we think we are suppose to eat--in fact this is where the success lies in diet plans like Atkins!
So--here is a very basic paneer--or farmer's cheese recipe for you!
1/2 gallon Whole Milk ( I used raw milk)
2 TBLS Lemon Juice
Heat milk on the stove, stirring constantly so it won't burn to the bottom of the pan. ( I have memories of pudding burns when I was a little girl)You want to heat it till it boils--do not under heat it or you just wasted milk.
I used a flat bottom spatula to be sure I was scraping the pan while stirring. Once milk heats up it boils fast so you do not want to walk away from this. It will boil up and over and be everywhere!
Once the milk has boiled remove immediately from the heat and add in the lemon juice, still stirring. After about 3 minutes curds will form--you want to set this aside for 10 to 15 minutes to let the curds set up.
After the curds have fallen in love with one another and formed a tighter bond you want to pour them into a cheese cloth over a strainer to pour out the whey. Do not discard this whey as you can use it for chowders, gravy, baking, bathing--yes you can use it in soap making even. Oh and I use a muslin cloth instead of the cheese cloth you can buy in the stores because the curds tend to fall into the small holes. Some recipes suggest doubling up the cheese cloth but even then I felt I lost to many little curd babies.
Once the cheese has drained you can wrap it up in the cloth and press out more of the whey by hand. Just wrap it and squeeze--making sure it is cool enough to handle of course. Once that is done you can lay the ball of wrapped up cheese on a plate and press another plate on
top of it. I added several heavy books to make sure the cheese was going to give up the last bits of the whey to me.
After about 20 minutes you can unwrap the paneer and behold your creation--You, my friend, have created CHEESE! Isn't it beautiful?
Now, remember this is a fat to add to meals or something to create meals with on those low activity days where you are craving something but are not sure what it is.
Calories per 1 ounce Serving: 100
Fat: 8 grams
Carbohydrates: 1 grams
Protein: 7 grams
Other good ideas:
-serve diced with fruit
-pan fry to give a crispy texture
-drizzle with honey
-use as a salad topper