How To Make Paneer

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Panir (also spelled Paneer) or Queso Blanco (kay’so blan’ko) is easy to make and there is so much you can do with it. Panir as it is known in India, is also called Queso Blanco (white cheese) in Latin America. Panir or Queso Blanco is perfect for “first timers” but even the more advanced can try it or try it again. It is quick and simple to make, and takes very little special equipment. It is a bland cheese that is kind of rubbery and will not melt. A wonderfully tasty food source and excellent meat extender. You can actually, sprinkled with seasoned salt and serve as a snack . It is also one of the few cheeses that freezes well, so you can stock up for the dry times.

Panir is sometimes called “Vinegar Cheese” because vinegar is used as an “acid precipitant”, that is, the acid of the vinegar (along with higher heat) makes the curds separate from the whey. The cheese cannot be made using low temperatures.

You can use as much goat milk as you’d like, 1 gallon or much more as long as your pot is big enough. Do not use an aluminum pot. Over direct heat, warm the milk to 183°- 185° (not any higher), and maintain that temperature for 10 minutes. Stir it often to keep it from scorching and if it does scorch, use a stainless steel scrubby to clean your pot later.

With the milk still on the heat, while stirring, add about 1/4 Cup of white vinegar per gallon of milk. It taste better with white vinegar than cider vinegar. You do not need even to measure the vinegar, just pour in a glug, stir, look, pour in a glug, stir, etc. until the curd separates. The separation should happen right away. When the curd separates cleanly from the whey (it will look like very fine, white particles floating in the greenish whey), pour it into a cheesecloth lined colander and put the colander over another pot to save the whey for later use. Use real cheese-making cheesecloth and not the ones you can buy at the grocery store.

Tie the corners of the cloth together and hang the bag to drain for a few hours. Refrigerate your cheese after it has drained. It will keep for a couple of weeks.

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How To Store Fresh Goat Milk

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Glass is the best storage to store fresh  goat milk because it is easily cleaned and sterilized. Use 1 quart wide mouth mason jars and gallon glass jars (1 gallon pickle jars). I would suggest the wide mouth jars because you can fit your hand into them and really scrub them and get them clean. Use quart mason jars to store if you do not have so much milk to store. Otherwise, go for bigger jars if you have so much milk to store. Do not use plastic container for storage. Plastic cannot be properly cleaned and sterilized. Never reuse milk jugs from the store; they cannot be cleaned well enough at all and will contaminate your fresh milk.

How to store fresh goat milk for use during the winter?

All you have to do is just pour the fresh milk (still warm from the goat) into new quart Ziploc freezer bags and stack them in the freezer. Use REAL Ziploc bags because “off brands” tend to leak. Do not freeze in glass! Glass is extremely dangerous, it can break very easily in the freezer – as the milk expands when it freezes. Never freeze in milk jugs from the store; they cannot be cleaned well enough at all and will contaminate your milk. When you thaw your milk (in the Ziploc bags) be ready for the bags to leak, they normally do. Put the bags in a dish as you thaw the milk. I thaw in the fridge and sometimes in the microwave. Thawed milk can have clumps in it but, it is nothing to worry about. I find that frozen milk will keep fine for 6 – 8 months in the deep freeze.

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Ricotta Cheese

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Ricotta cheese is a soft, slightly sweet, mild fresh cheese. Ricotta is similar in appearance to cottage cheese, but has a much smaller, grainier curd and slightly sweeter taste. Ricotta in Italian means “cooked again,” a reference to the fact that it is traditionally made from whey produced from making other cheeses, like mozzarella, feta or provolone.

The original cheese-making process removes the majority of the casein protein from the goat milk (the cheese) leaving behind the liquid whey portion.When left at room temperature, the original inoculating bacteria continue to act upon the remaining lactose in the whey, converting it to lactic acid, and further lowering the pH of the liquid. The lower pH reduces the solubility of the small amount of remaining protein in the whey. Heating the whey then causes the protein to precipitate out as a very fine-grained curd.

As ricotta is basically the “leftovers” from cheese-making, it takes a significant amount of whey to produce a small amount of ricotta. In view of this, some recipes call for the addition of whole milk to the whey in order to increase the yield.

Ricotta may be best known in the United States as an ingredient in lasagna and ravioli, but it also serves as the basis for many desserts, like cannoli and cheesecake. Ricotta can also be served in a manner similar to a pudding by adding sweeteners and flavorings and stirring until smooth.

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