Sunday, 15 April 2012

Cheesy fun

I'm getting into cheesemaking again. I'm easing myself back in gradually by starting with paneer. Totally easy to make and great to cook with.

4 pints full fat millk
4 tbsp lemon juice or 1 tsp citric acid dissolved in a little water (approx 1/4 cup)
Spices of your choice

  1. Bring the milk to a rolling boil, stirring regularly
  2. When foamy,  add the lemon/citric acid, turn down the heat and, and cook for 10-15 seconds
  3. Continue to stir off the heat until the curds and whey separate, then leave for about 10 minutes to set
  4. Ladle the curds into a muslin and keep aside the whey.
  5. Rinse the curds under warm water then leave to drain. I add the spices at this point, then put a weight on top of the tied muslin to help consolidate it all.
  6. After a couple of hours it's ready to eat.

I've found it's ace if you coat it in smoked paprika then fry it up with some bacon in a tomatoey sauce. Either that or go classic with curry. The whey you can either use in place of water in breadmaking, or I keep it in the fridge and add it instead of water to pasta sauces, etc. It gives it an every so slightly creamy edge. It lasts in a fridge as long as your milk normally does.

I used citric acid to precipitate this one, and added black pepper. You can see I didn't really pay much attention and the spice isn't exactly evenly spread. Citric acid can be pretty hard to get hold of, as people think you are going to cut it with heroin, but some places are ok. Barnitt's in York is where I get mine. They clearly don't care if housewives are addicted to class A drugs.


Middle-aged post alert

Spring means a vague attempt by me to grow some veg. I'm fairly black-thumbed so it's always a miracle when I manage anything edible at all. It's not going so badly so far though.
Plum tomato and gherkin seedlings in my mini-windowsill greenhouse.

Orange bell pepper and fuego chilis. I've forgotten which plants are which though...

My chilis and sweet peppers from last year are miraculously still going strong, and flowering already, despite a hefty pruning whereby I chopped about 4 feet off the top.

My heavily-pruned cherry tree blossoming in the yard. Last year it produced the grand total of one cherry at mum and dad's house whilst they were tree-sitting, which was promptly stolen by a bird. I'm hoping for at least two this year.

Taters just planted out at the front, plus other bits and bobs.

Only half of my sugar snap peas have germinated thus far...

I *think* these are carrots.

My courgettes haven't died yet. There's still time.

Wild strawberry plant (back) I stole back from my yarden in Birmingham, plus a new normal one (front) donated by Mother Goodchild, my source for all things seedy.

So, fingers crossed for a bountiful summer. If I manage to eat any of it I reckon I'm on to a winner.