Paneer

Summary

 

Paneer (also spelled Panir)  – a cheese originate and made in India. Paneer is also called Queso Blanco (kay’so blan’ko) (white cheese) in Latin America. It is a bland cheese that is kind of rubbery and will not melt.

 

Paneer 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.

 

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.

 

How to Make Paneer?

 

Paneer is easy to make and there is so much you can do with it. Paneer  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.

 

Instructions:

 

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.

 

Now that you have this rubbery ball of cheese, what do you do with it or how do you enjoy it?

 

Paneer is like tofu,  it will take on the flavor of the food it is cooked with. Just cut it into bite-sized cubes and throw it into chili or spaghetti.  If you love pasta cooked in whey you can always save whey just for this purpose. Try serving your chili over vermicelli cooked in whey, topped with a sprinkle of cheese, some sprouts and a dollop of goat yogurt.

 

You could use Paneer as a meat extender or replacement. If you are a vegetarian, you can use a lot of Paneer. You make “chicken a la king” using cubes of Paneer instead of meat. A quick dinner is mac’n cheese, made from a box, but also add onions, Paneer cubes, peas and buttermilk. When you make taco meat, cut it up in tiny cubes and simmer it with the meat for about an hour.

 

You can also marinade Paneer and throw it on top of salads or use it in stir-fry. Paneer is really in its element when used in curry. Serve the curry over rice cooked with whey instead of water and add a handful of raisins and a clove to the rice as well to make it really authentic.

 

There are endless uses for Paneer, so make some of this quick and easy cheese and experiment for yourself. Enjoy!

 

 

 

As Featured On EzineArticles